PMS is often associated with emotional, physical, and psychological symptoms, and, similar to this woman, you may feel as if you need to carry a gun during your monthly period. Various studies have suggested a variety of factors—such as exercise, food, and alcohol—may affect PMS. Studies have also shown certain foods seem to improve PMS symptoms. To help with such symptoms, here are suggestions about the right PMS foods to eat.
- Calcium. Some studies have suggested calcium regulation affects PMS, and, so, one study was designed to examine calcium’s role in PMS. A study by Thys-Jacobs found calcium supplementation “resulted in an over 48% reduction in total [PMS] symptom scores.” Some of the best calcium foods include yogurt, wild salmon, bok choy, kale, almonds, and seaweeds. To learn more about calcium, read Calcium-Rich Foods, Calcium Content in Herbs and Spices, and Osteoporosis Health.
- Licorice Root. Licorice root shouldn’t be confused with licorice candy because the root is often considered a potent perennial herb and is used regularly in cough drops because of its purported ability to soothe mucous membranes. In the book Little Herb Encyclopedia: The Handbook of Nature’s Remedies for a Healthier Life, author Jack Ritchason, ND, claims it also supports menstruation and “normalizes ovulation in women experiencing infrequent menstruation.” Additionally, Ritchason asserts licorice root “assists in helping the body hand stress,” and some studies suggest licorice root acts similar to a phytoestrogen and may reduce mild depression.
- Omega 3-Fatty Acids. Most people know you can obtain omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish, such as cod, herring, mackerel, sardines, and tuna. Another great source of omega-3s is hemp oil, which isn’t commonly used today. However, it seems hemp oil is one of the more well-balanced oil on the market as its ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 are 3:1. Many experts suggest you never heat hemp oil as they claim its omega-3s are highly unstable when heated. A number of studies, Lucas, Pawels, and Venna have shown that omega-3s may help PMS symptoms because it improves mood and may decrease depression.
- Magnesium. Similar to calcium, women with lower levels of magnesium seem to have a greater liklihood of suffering PMS symptoms. The belief is serotonioin levels may be affected by magnesium and that may in turn affect depression. Magnesium-rich foods include pumpkins seeds, cashews, almonds, sweet potatoes, artichoke hearts, chickpeans, and brown rice.
- Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 helps your body make the neurotransmitter dopamine, and some studies, such as Fugh-Berman have shown it may reduce PMS related symptoms. Some of the best Vitamin B6 foods include spinach, turnip greens, and bell peppers. Other good vitamin B6 sources are garlic, cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli, kale, bananas, celery, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cod.
Various foods seem to affect PMS symptoms both for the good and the bad. If you incorporate the right foods, such as calcium, licorice root, omega-3s, magnesium, and vitamin B6 foods, you increase your chances of sailing through your monthly menstruation cycle with few or, perhaps, no symptoms. So, choose the above beneficial PMS foods to eat.