A week or ten days before your periods, your jeans don’t fit you because of that extra inch you gain around your waist. Regular fluid retention can get annoying for a lot of women, especially those suffering from PCOS.

It is mainly caused by hormonal imbalance, and of course, excess salt intake (yes, we’re all guilty as charged for this one). Just relax – first things first. There are a number of ways through which you can help yourself.

These are a few steps that I usually follow:

Reduce Caffeine Intake

I look forward to atleast one or two cups of coffee daily, but a week before my period, I take a break from it, and switch to flower-infused/ caffeine-free options. I take Barley Cup Powder from Holland and Barrett, and boy! It tastes exactly like coffee!

Cut Down On Salt

I am quite wary of my salt intake at home, and I always use the best “Pink Himalayan Salt”. Also, I try taking one or two salt-free meals like protein shakes, oats, porridge or eggs.

This may be difficult if you’re out for lunches/dinners. In that case, avoid Chinese/Thai/processed foods/sauces/dips/Indian curries etc. as these are loaded with salt.

Increase Fluid Intake

You need to drink plenty of water to help flush out all the excess salt and toxins. If you find plain water too boring, try having infused water with lemon, lime, ginger or cucumbers. These are refreshing, delicious and are loaded with vitamins.

Besides, Nettle tea has anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties. A cup or two, anytime of the day helps to get rid of excess water from your system. I like Purearth Nettle tea leaves. It is 100% chemical and preservative-free, and has a mild flavour.

Eat Potassium-Rich Foods

Bananas, spinach, sweet potatoes, broccoli, dals, whole grains, tomatoes, avocado, dry fruits (raw/unsalted), grapefruits, oranges are some options that have a good amount of potassium. These foods help gently bring down your sodium levels.

Take Vitamin B6

This is one supplement that works well around the time you are PMS-ing – reduces bloating, breast tenderness and helps with mood swings. You can take one tablet daily with breakfast or lunch atleast 10 days before the start of your period.

PS: this post is only about fluid retention caused by PMS and excess salt intake. There are many other health conditions that may cause prolonged fluid retention, and may need medical attention. If that is the case, please do consult your GP.