Premenstrual syndrome or PMS is a combination of symptoms, such as bloating, headaches and fatigue, that women can get in the lead up to our periods. At the time you may feel like chocolate is the answer, but deep down you know that it’s not. So, are there any foods that can actually help? The answer is yes. In this blog I’m going to explain exactly what to eat for PMS

What to eat for PMS?

Women with PMS are hypersensitive to their hormonal fluctuations during their menstrual cycle. It is believed that PMS is caused by increasing levels of the hormone progesterone provoking chemical messengers in the brain (called neurotransmitters). Many vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids are involved in this process, which is why dietary changes may help!

If you have PMS, try these five dietary tips:

Number 1: Boost your omega 3 intake.

Omega 3 helps to reduce inflammation and improve mood, so it’s not surprising that foods rich in omega-3, such as oily fish, flax and chia seeds, have been shown to help some women.

Number 2: Check your zinc levels

Research suggests that a low iron or zinc levels may increase your risk of PMS so get these checked by your doctor. Shellfish such as oysters and mussels are particularly rich in both iron and zinc.

Number 3: Include some soy foods

Boosting your intake of isoflavones from soy foods may help. Isoflavones can help to improve your estrogen to progesterone ratio, which has been found to improve PMS symptoms for some women.

Number 4: Try magnesium or vitamin B6 supplements  

Although the results are mixed, both of these supplements have been found to improve PMS symptoms for some women. I’d recommend trying one for three months, then if your symptoms don’t improve, cease those supplements and try a three month course of the other.

Number 5: Ensure you’re getting enough calcium 

When it comes what to eat for PMS, the best evidence is for foods rich in calcium, so include two to three serves of dairy, such as milk, yoghurt or cheese each day. One systematic review found that women who boosted their calcium intake to 1000-1200 milligrams per day experienced a fifty per cent reduction in PMS symptoms compared to women who didn’t meet their calcium requirements, so if you think there’s a chance that you’re not meeting your calcium requirements, this is where I would recommend that you start.

In summary: 

Personally, I’d recommend choosing one strategy to start with, and just changing one thing at a time so that you know what makes the difference for you. Let me know in the comments box below, which one you decide to start with.

It’s also important to note that it can take 3-4 months to see an improvement in your symptoms after changing your diet, so be patient. 

And, although you may crave alcohol, sugar and treats before your period, research shows that these foods can actually make PMS worse, so try to limit your intake of these.

Now, I’d love you to do me a favour….please share this blog/video with your girlfriends. PMS can be debilitating for many women, and imagine if you could give one of your friends the gift of improving her PMS. You could change her life.

1 Comment

  1. Emma

    What is so bad about saturated fat in dairy? I thought this was myth busted and dieticians in Au agreed? Just wondering as I drink full cream milk and eat butter and Merideth goat cheese daily and have pmdd .

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