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Food Remedies that Reduce Symptoms of PMS

Updated on July 1, 2017

What we eat has various affects on how our body functions and feels. Foods that are fresh, natural (not processed or refined), treated organically (free of pesticides, preservatives, and artificial additives) tend to create better physical, emotional and overall health results.

Premenstrual symptoms are also affected by what we consume and can determine whether our PMS symptoms tend to be more difficult or mild to endure. Here is some information about every day foods that can serve as remedies for PMS, as well as foods that tend to increase symptoms of PMS

Foods for PMS symptoms
Foods for PMS symptoms | Source

Foods that serve as remedies for PMS symptoms:

Breads and cereals made with whole grains, and other unrefined whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat, oats, barley, etc. are food remedies that can greatly reduce premenstrual symptoms. The fiber in bran helps to balance hormone levels.

Fresh vegetables, which contain fiber, such as dark leafy greens, asparagus, kale, seaweed, kelp as well as mushrooms, potatoes and sweet potatoes help to regulate estrogen levels and reduce mood swings, irritability and anxiety associated with symptoms of PMS.

Fresh fruits also contain fiber which allows the body to absorb the natural sugars in fruit more slowly, so that these natural sugars can be converted to energy to help reduce feelings of irritability and fatigue.

Omega-3 fatty acids found in cold water fish can help prevent menstrual cramping. Choose fresh or flash-frozen fish for the greatest amounts of nutrients and to avoid processed additives.

Beans, peas, legumes, and lentils are good sources of protein, while being lower in fat than meat products. Lowering intakes of fat will greatly lower PMS symptoms.

Foods that intensify premenstrual symptoms include:

Red meats, which contain hormone-like compounds and are often given synthetic estrogens to promote their growth have an effect on our own hormonal balance and tend to trigger many symptoms associated with symptoms of PMS, such as cramping, bloating, migraines, breast tenderness, etc. High amounts of animal fats can also have a negative effect on the liver, making it work harder to try to balance estrogens levels. Replace animal proteins with other protein rich foods, such as more beans, legumes, and lentils… as mentioned earlier in this article.

Dairy products, such as milk and cheese are also high in fat and tend to cause water retention and bloating associated with premenstrual symptoms. High intakes of dairy foods, even low fat dairy products can increase mood swings, irritability, menstrual cramps, anxiety and nervous tension.

Foods containing high amounts of sodium, refined sugar, and corn syrup can cause PMS symptoms, such as fluid retention, bloating, swollen ankles, premenstrual weight gain, mood swings, heart palpitations, anxiety, and irritability. Salt also adds stress on the kidneys, causing dehydration.


Vitamins and nutritional minerals also play an important role in the effect of premenstrual symptoms. Focus on food remedies that are good sources of the follow

Vitamin A reduces the PMS symptoms of bloating, water retention, fatigue, and lessons a heavy menstrual flow. Foods that contain vitamin A include all dark-green vegetables, as well as yellow-orange vegetables and fruit.

B-complex vitamins stabilize mood swings, irritability, and fatigue associated with symptoms of PMS. B vitamins can be found in whole grains, dark leafy greens, eggs, dry beans, dairy products and yogurt.

Vitamin B6 helps to naturally balance serotonin and dopamine levels, which reduces bouts of depression and irritability that are associated with PMS symptoms. B6 can also reduce premenstrual symptoms such as headaches, bloating, tension, breast tenderness, weight gain, and constipation. Food remedies that contain B6 include lean meats, such as poultry and fish, nuts and seeds, whole grains, beans, broccoli, bananas, avocado, mangos, prune juice and grapes.

Vitamin C helps to reduce a heavy menstrual flow, stress and irritability, and prevent anemia by increasing iron absorption. Foods that contain Vitamin C include citrus fruits, papaya, strawberries, kiwi, cantaloupe, mango, sweet red and green bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, dark-green vegetables, tomatoes, and potatoes.

Vitamin E improves symptoms of anxiety, food cravings, breast tenderness and depression associated with premenstrual symptoms. Vitamin E can be found in peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds, mango, papaya, pumpkin, prunes, grapes, pear, broccoli, spinach, cucumber, fresh peas, and blueberries.

Calcium (non-dairy) tends to decrease symptoms of PMS, such as mood swings, bloating, water retention, food cravings, cramping and pain. Foods that contain calcium include, Beans dry roasted almonds, dark leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, okra, soy beans, bok choy, dried figs, oranges, Hummus, yogurt. Non-dairy milks include soy milk, almond and nut milks, and rice milk.

Magnesium reduces PMS symptoms of irritability and mood swings, stabilizes blood sugar to reduce food cravings and assists the liver to balance estrogen levels. Magnesium can be found in foods such as kale, potatoes, collards, avocados, lima beans, figs, nuts, black-eyed peas, fish, pumpkinseeds.

Vitamin D can help reduce migraines associated with premenstrual symptoms.

Iron is necessary to reduce anemia, energy and stamina due to blood loss that results from heavy menstruation. Iron can be found in food remedies other than meats, which include pistachios, dried beans and peas, eggs, nuts and seeds, prune juices, green vegetables and whole grain breads and pasta.

Zinc reduces irritability and depression caused by PMS symptoms. Zinc can be found in poultry, seafood, nuts and seeds, whole grain breads and cereals, lima beans, fresh corn, and mushrooms.

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