Beat Premenstrual Syndrome With Anti PMS Foods

Many women experience physical or emotional symptoms in relation to their menstrual cycle and, for one in 20 women premenstrual syndrome (PMS) severely blights their life. Symptoms occur 7 to 14 days before each period, and can include mood swings, depression, agitation, feelings of being unable to cope, fluid retention, migraines, clumsiness and food cravings.

The causes of PMS is still unclear, but could involve fluctuations in hormone levels and changes in the chemistry of the brain. Fortunately, PMS symptoms can often be greatly improved by simple changes in diet.

The Calming Carbohydrates

Carbohydrate foods, especially the starchy ones rich in B vitamins, fiber and minerals, are valuable in the prevention and relief of PMS. Examples include bread, pasta, rice, pulses (beans and lentils) and potatoes. Researchers believe they help by raising the level of a calming brain chemical called serotonin. Another benefit of eating starchy foods is that they tend to be low in fat, helping to reduce your overall fat intake.  This in turn causes your body to produce less estrogen, which seems to alleviate symptoms like irritability and anxiety.

The Magic Of Magnesium

The magnesium level in the red blood cells has been shown to be significantly lower in PMS sufferers than other women. This mineral is important for nervous function and energy release, a deficiency is characterized by excessive nervous sensitivity, generalized aches and pains, and a lower premenstrual pain threshold. Magnesium rich foods to look for include nuts, pulses, seafood, lean meat, bananas, dairy products, wholegrains and green vegetables.

Substitute With Soy

READ:  How To Balance Your Hormones

Soy products such as tofu, soy milk, soy yogurt and textured vegetable protein contain naturally occurring plant hormones, known as isoflavones, that are believed to help regulate the effects of estrogen in the body. Eating an isoflavone rich diet can reduce monthly breast pain. There is also evidencce that the same regime can work for women with irregular periods or menopausal symptoms. Eating a soy based food every day is the ideal. Just swap one or two servings of dairy products for calcium fortified soy versions.

Vitamin B Lift

B vitamins can also combat PMS and like magnesium, they play an important role in energy release and nervous function (low levels can increase feelings of depression). Vitamin B6 may be especially useful. A study concluded that doses of up to 100 mg per day could relieve premenstrual symptoms and premenstrual depression. Boost your intake by eating foods like Marmite, brown rice and other wholegrain cereals, nuts, pulses, red meat (especially liver and kidney) and leafy green vegetables.

The Beneficial Fats

Oily fish (mackerel, herring, sardines and salmon), tuna, trout, linseeds, nuts and polyunsaturated cooking oils (sunflower and rapeseed) provide omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. A balance of these is needed for the production of prostaglandins that regulate the menstrual cycle. A low fat diet is healthy, but you need some daily beneficial fats to avoid menstrual problems and PMS. Try to eat oily fish at least once or twice a week, and sprinkle a tablespoon of linseeds and nuts over your cereal each morning. Some women benefit from taking an evening primrose oil supplement.

READ:  Early Morning Exercise Is Good For Your Health

Foods To Avoid


Glucose, used in cakes and sweets causes a swift rise in blood sugar, followed by a rapid fall. This disrupts energy levels, increasing irritability. Try to limit the amount of sweets you eat and indulge only after meals.


Alcohol depletes B vitamins by flushing them out in urine and reducing the appetite, which can make PMS worse. Stick to one or two glass a day.


Too much caffeine from coffee, tea and cola can increase irritability. Stick to 2 to 3 cups a day.

Animal Fats

These can encourage inflammatory responses in the body and make menstrual cramps worse. Cut down on dairy products and fatty meat such as sausages and burgers.


High salt (sodium) foods increase bloating. Processed foods, particularly take out curries, Chinese meals and pizzas often contain a lot of salt.

Coping With Cravings

  • It’s normal to eat more in a week leading yp to your period.
  • Satisfy cravings with healthier foods. If you crave for sugar, fill up with fruit or yogurt. If you must eat fat, make it nuts, seeds, avocados or olives rather than crisps.
  • Drink plenty of water to help keep your stomach full, reducing the desire to eat.
  • If you binge, don’t feel guilty, it will only increase the chances of pigging out again.

Eat To Beat PMS

Butter Bean Houmous makes a tasty change from the chickpea variety. Drain a 400 g can of butter beans. Blend to a paste with 5 tbsp olive oil, 3 roughly chopped garlic cloves and the juice of ½ lemon. Add sea salt and pepper and 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley. Serve with wholemeal pita bread.

READ:  Beat PMS And Period Pain The Natural Way

Make a Vitamin Packed Salad by tossing together a 80 g bag of fresh rocket, 1 large segmented orange and a handful of chopped walnuts. Whisk together 3 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Season to taste. Drizzle over the salad before serving.

Pulses are great for PMS sufferers, and a Spicy Dhal is another delicious way to eat more of them. Heat 1 tbsp sunflower oil in a large pan and add 2 chopped garlic cloves and 1 chopped onion. Fry for 4 minutes until softened and golden. Stir in 150 g red lentils, 1 tbsp hot curry paste and 600 ml hot vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 2 tbsp chopped coriander and serve immediately with naan bread.

Three Phase PMS Plan

Stick to Phase 1 for two or three months. Move on to the next phase only if there is no improvement.

Phase 1
Insure you have a healthy diet. Eat regular meals including five portions of fruit and vegetables daily. Choose wholegrain cereals. Limit caffeine and salt and cut back on saturated (animal) fats.

Phase 2
Alternate three smaller meals with three carbohydrate snacks every day. The steadier release of glucose into the blood should help deal with the symptoms.

Phase 3
Consider supplements. Phase 1 increases your intake of the valuable nutrients that influence brain chemicals and hormones, but some women may benefit from taking higher amounts. Try daily supplements of magnesium (300 mg), vitamin B6 (100 mg), and evening primrose oil (2000 mg to 3000 mg)

You may also like...

3 Responses

  1. TreeHuggers says:

    Vitamin B complex comprises of eight water soluble B vitamins that play an important role in our bodies. These include: Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (niacin), Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Vitamin B7 (biotin), Vitamin B9 (folic acid) and Vitamin B12 (cobalamin). Vitamin B complex benefits include support of metabolism, maintainance of healthy skin, and enhancement of immune function. Since the B-vitamins are essential for the normal catalytic activity of enzymes, a deficiency may lead to conditions such as anemia, hair loss, eczema, poor growth in children and depression amongst others.

    Sources Of Vitamin B

    Foods rich in vitamin B include cereals such as rice, wheat and barley, liver, dairy products, green leafy vegetables, peanuts, bananas, eggs, poultry and dried beans.
    Vitamin B6 Benefits

    Of the vitamin B complex benefits, Vitamin B6 particularly helps with brain function, the conversion of protein to energy and plays a vital role in preventing heart disease. It does this by preventing the build up of a compound known as homocysteine in the body, which, in high concentrations may cause damage to blood vessels. Additionally, it lowers blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, two major causes of heart disease. Vitamin B6 is an essential component of haemoglobin in the body and it also helps maintain blood glucose levels. Low levels of vitamin B6 can cause the body’s defence system to function less efficiently and has also been shown to cause mental depression.

    Vitamin B6 Toxicity

    The recommended daily allowances for vitamin B6 ranges between 1.3mg and 1.7mg, and increases during pregnancy and lactation. Vitamin B6 toxicity can be caused by a daily intake of above 500mg and is characterised by nerve damage to the arms and legs, clumsiness and unsteadiness with walking. Treatment of toxicity requires long-term recovery and can take up to 3 years.

    B12 Vitamin Deficiency Symptoms

    Vitamin B12 is the only vitamin to contain a metal ion (cobalt) within its structure. Vitamin B12 deficiency is estimated to affect 10%-15% of individuals over the age of 60 and may be caused due to a deficiency in a factor produced in the stomach that is required for absorption of the vitamin. Certain foods may also bind to the vitamin and prevent it from being absorbed. Deficiency in vitamin B12 causes megaloblastic anaemia, a condition resulting in large, immature, haemoglobin-poor red blood cells. Vitamin B12 is found in animal products such as meat, poultry and fish. It is generally not present in plant products and therefore vegetarian diets may need to use vitamin B12 supplements to meet their daily requirements.

    In conclusion, vitamin B complex benefits are wide and varied; they play a vital role in many functions carried out in the body. Certain factors may lead to an increase in an individuals daily requirement of the B vitamins, such as alcohol consumption. If unable to get adequate amounts of the vitamin B complex from a typical daily diet, consider supplementing your diet.

    NOTE: I’ve dedicated my life to Educating Consumers on Natural, Organic, Supplements, Vitamins, Healthy Living, Natural Healing, Non-Genetically Modified, Non-Chemical Enhanced or anything we consume made from Un-Natural Sources. I’m asking anyone who reads my articles to post articles like it, or my articles on Great Blogs like this one to spread the word and help make people healthier. You can take credit for the articles, you can go to my Facebook Fan page and get information from there if you’d like or you can go to my store by clicking on my name above for information. I don’t mind if you use articles from my websites. The more we work together, the bigger the demand will be to grow more Natural and Organic Foods. We can’t beat big business and stop them from producing products that cause a vast majority of America’s Health problems because they’re after quanity and profits. Until they see the market shift and start losing money, they won’t change. That’s up to us and it’s time we demand better, safer, healthier supplements, vitamins, and food. We can show them, we the consumers are in control. That all starts with education and helping educate people who have not yet learned about these subjects. My Facebook Fan page is located at http:/

    Thanks and I’ll post new articles like this once per week!

  2. Alex Pablate says:

    Very useful post for women who are having trouble in menstrual cycle!

    Most importantly, you have listed foods to avoid because most of the women are ignorant about what to eat and what not to eat!

    Keep it up please!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *