Since I began a low-glycemic-index diet, I’ve noticed a significant reduction of menstrual cramps and PMS symptoms, and a substantial improvement in my energy and moods.
Many years ago I had a diet high in glycemic-index, and I didn’t know it.
In college I lived on croissants, sweet baked goods and coffee. This combo comforted me through many stressful exams.
But I also paid a high price for it – severe menstrual cramps, frequent fatigue, and unpredictable PMS mood swings, just to name a few.
Now I know that a high-glycemic-index diet is a major contributor toward many female problems, such as PMS/PMDD, irregular periods, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, as well as breast, ovarian and uterine cancers.
Since I began a diet low in glycemic-index, I’ve noticed a significant reduction of menstrual cramps and PMS symptoms, and a substantial improvement in my energy level and moods.
What is Glycemic-Index?
Simply put, the glycemic-index is a measure of how much a food raises your blood sugar level.
When you eat foods high in glycemic-index, generally sugary and starchy foods, your body quickly metabolizes them into sugar, causing a spike in insulin levels that raises your blood sugar level.
But when you eat foods low in glycemic-index, your body breaks them down slowly, keeping your insulin and blood sugar levels relatively stable over a longer period of time. In other words, they stabilize your energy and your mood.
Research has indicated a correlation between high levels of estrogen and the risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancers.
High-glycemic-index Foods Raise Estrogen Levels
As mentioned, foods high in glycemic-index raise your blood sugar level, which in turn increases the level of metabolically active estrogens.
It’s no wonder that a high-glycemic-index diet is one of the leading causes of estrogen dominance, a common pattern of hormonal imbalance among women.
Examples of High-glycemic-index Foods
Generally speaking, sugary and starchy foods are high in glycemic-index. They give you empty calories and not a lot of nutrients. Here are some examples:
- White potatoes
- White rice
- White breads, rolls, bagels, pastries and doughnuts
- Puffed wheat/rice, rice cakes
- Hard candy
- Regular (non-diet) soda
- Sports drinks
- Wine, beer, hard liquor
On the other hand, low-glycemic-index foods are packed with nutrients, such as proteins, vitamins, minerals and fibers.
Low-glycemic-index Foods Reduce Estrogen Dominance
Because of their high fiber content, foods low in glycemic-index change the metabolism of estrogen in the bowel so that less is available for absorption into the bloodstream and more is excreted.
It helps reduce estrogen dominance and a whole slew of problems that come with it – physical, emotional, and menstrual.
Examples of Low-glycemic-index Foods
Here are some examples (and you should choose organic whenever possible):
- Leafy greens
- Beans and peas
- Sweet potatoes
- Meat and fish
- Milk, yogurt and cheese
- Sourdough and pumpernickel bread
- Peanuts, other nuts and seeds
- Dark chocolate
To find out the glycemic-index for a specific food, visit Glycemicindex.com.
Personally I don’t believe in dieting, and I’m not into any particular diet. To me the low-glycemic-index diet is not so much a diet, per se, but a guideline for us to choose foods that nourish us.
I admit that it’s hard to let go of some of the high-glycemic-index foods because they taste richer and better. Perhaps we can start by learning how to prepare low-GI meals that are as tasty as they are healthy.
What do you think?