Food and menstrual pre syndrome

Every month, women experience a combination of physical and emotional symptoms of menstrual pre syndrome (PMS) which includes abdominal cramps, anxiety, depression, bloating, breast tenderness, craving, and mood swings. While PMS is a fact of every woman’s life, no medication can entirely relieve the monthly suffering that women experience on the onset and during their monthly period. Knowing which food to eat may be the next best way to help relieve the pain of PMS.

There are certain foods that may help relieve the severity of symptoms associated with menstrual pre syndrome. They include:

Complex carbohydrates

Eat small amounts of complex carbohydrates by eating five or six small meals a day. This serves to keep your blood sugar at an even level and to eliminate sugar cravings. Carbohydrate-rich foods include foods as pasta, baked potato, cereal, beans, rice, and whole grain.

High calcium foods

Calcium has been shown to reduce abdominal cramping and muscular contractions resulting from PMS. Eat lots of broccoli, salmon, dried beans, tofu, soybeans, yogurt, skim-milk, and low-fat cheese; or supplement your diet with a calcium pill.


Magnesium facilitates the absorption of calcium. Mood swings and food cravings are also known to be alleviated by magnesium. Sources of magnesium include spinach, avocados, barley, oysters, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, buckwheat and almonds.

Vitamin B6

Foods high in vitamin B6 may reduce depression and relieve cravings, fatigue, mood swings, fluid retention and bloating during your period. To derive the possible benefits of B6, eat foods rich in vitamin B6, including fish, tuna, chicken, turkey, pork, brown rice, barley, soy foods, broccoli, sweet potatoes, bananas, avocados, mangoes, cantaloupe, sunflower seeds, and spinach. Vitamin B6 can also be taken in supplements.


Low zinc levels in women prone to PMS suggest that a diet rich in this important mineral may prevent PMS symptoms. Leading food source of zinc include barley, wheat, crab, oysters, beef, lamb, chicken and turkey.

Vitamin E

Foods high in vitamin E may help to reduce menstrual pre syndrome related breast tenderness, nervousness, depression, headache, fatigue, and insomnia. Vitamin E can be taken as a supplement and is found in broccoli, almonds, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, peanuts, safflower oil, corn oil, olive oil, mangoes, avocadoes, apples, and blackberries.

Fruits and vegetables

Vegetables such as kale, collards, mustard greens, carrots, turnips, parsnips, broccoli, Brussels sprouts are high in nutrients that reduce menstrual pre syndrome-related blood sugar and mood swings, and help regulate heavy menstrual bleeding and premenstrual acne. Fruits such as apples and pears, on the other hand, contain fiber and less sugar.

Besides diet, regular exercise also decreases menstrual pre syndrome symptoms by releasing pent up tension and energy. And be sure to drink plenty of water – about 8 glasses a day.

More information on menstrual pre syndrome relief


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