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10 nutrients to relieve PMS

Being irritable during the days leading up to menstruation is common and falls under that phenomenon defined as premenstrual syndrome.

Coping with it is not always easy but nutrition can also come to the rescue. In fact, there are foods capable of affecting against this unpleasant side effect.

What is premenstrual syndrome

The premenstrual syndrome interest a percentage of women of reproductive age that goes 20 to 50%, of which 5% suffer from a severe form called premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

It occurs during the 7-10 days prior to the onset of menstruation and usually does not accompany them, but ends a few hours after their start.


Why PMS occurs is not yet clear. Possible triggers can be factors from endocrine such as hypoglycemia, changes in metabolism carbohydrates or levels of estrogen and progesterone; deficiency of serotonin, magnesium or calcium or genetic predisposition. Serotonin deficiency is thought to contribute, as many women with PMS have been found to have lower than standard serotonin levels.


The most common symptoms are agitation, anxiety, irritability, anger, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, drowsiness, depression, strong headache, weight gain and breast pain. Pelvic tension, back pain, dysmenorrhea at the onset of menstruation, dizziness, palpitations, constipation, nausea, vomiting, acne, and changes in appetite may also occur. Acne and dermatitis can also appear.

How to fight it with nutrition

There are many methods for dealing with PMS and one of them could be to lend, in those days and in previous days, a little more than pay attention to nutrition. Some foods, in fact, not only help to stay relaxed, but also to improve mood and other manifestations. In particular, micronutrients would be particularly effective, namely vitamins and minerals that help regulate the body’s metabolism at the cellular level. Here are the most effective.


Women with menorrhagia, which is particularly heavy menstrual loss, are likely to have low iron levels. Many studies suggest that supplementing this element not only helps to cope with anemia, but also increases the concentration of hemoglobin and reduces fatigue. The foods richest in iron are spinach, amaranth leaves, beans, red meat, sprouts and wheat seeds. The body assimilates iron better if it is taken together with a source of vitamin C such as citrus fruits.


Magnesium helps to relax the muscles of the uterus and to reduce dysmenorrhea, or menstrual cramps. In addition, it causes a calming effect and reduces stress and for this reason introducing it into your diet could be decisive in stemming PMS. The foods that are richest in it and that can be added to the diet of that period of the month are green leafy vegetables, nuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed nuts and chocolate.


Zinc is used as a cofactor for estrogen and progesterone receptors and helps relieve pain and menstrual cramps. Fair quantities can be found in eggs, cereals, legumes, beans and pumpkin seeds.


Often during your period and shortly before, you are deficient in calcium, whose supplementation has a functional role in the relief of symptoms associated with PMS. This micronutrient helps reduce behavioral changes and relieves water retention, often the cause of headaches and other ailments. Besides milk, yogurt and dairy products can be found in almonds, sesame and tofu.

Vitamin D

Calcium homeostasis is influenced by the presence of vitamin D. The supplementation of this vitamin therefore helps to significantly reduce the intensity of pain. It can be found in cereals, mushrooms, egg yolk and fatty fish.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 helps make new red blood cells, carry oxygen and cope with mood swings. It can be found mostly in eggs, chickpeas, avocados, nuts and seeds.

Folic acid

This nutrient can help overcome common anemia during and before menstruation and regulate the menstrual cycle. Leafy vegetables such as spinach, avocado, beans, celery, asparagus and Brussels sprouts they are good sources of folic acid.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Anti-inflammatory foods based on omega-3 fatty acids help counteract headaches and cramps caused by an inflammatory chemical in the body called prostaglandin. This element is found mainly in fish, nuts, flax seeds and soy. The latter has often been associated with fertility and symptoms of menopause. In this article, the benefits of soy and soy products.

Vitamin E

This vitamin has antioxidant properties, which help relieve the severity of dysmenorrhea, balance hormones, and reduce anxiety. Olive oil, nuts, seeds, butter, dandelion and sweet potatoes are good sources of vitamin E.


The fibers help reduce estrogen levels which in turn greatly facilitate the decrease of menstrual cramps. The foods that are richest are vegetables, fruit, sprouts, whole grains, oats, chickpeas, peas and lentils.


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