I used to pass out from the pain of cramps, but now I know how to “eat my way” out of PMS.


The term “premenstrual syndrome” (PMS) is used to describe the cluster of unpleasant physical and emotional symptoms that some women experience in the days leading up to their periods.

Physical symptoms (like breast tenderness and headaches) and physiological symptoms (like mood swings, fatigue, and anger) add up to more than 150 in total for premenstrual syndrome.


The Pill helped her PMS symptoms, but when she stopped taking it, they came back, but she's since learned to use nutrition to ease them


There may be as many as 30% of women who suffer from moderate to severe PMS, according to the National Association for Premenstrual Syndromes.

Severe PMS affects approximately 800,000 British women.

You may have tried the contraceptive pill, hot water bottles, paracetamol, or even just trying to sleep it off if you’ve ever attempted to treat PMS, even mild PMS.

However, have you ever considered the part your diet plays?

According to Shona Wilkinson, lead nutritionist at ethical nutrition and supplement brand DR.VEGAN, “PMS symptoms are long and varied, affecting up to 85 per cent of women,” including headaches, low energy, cramps, and irritability.

While there are many things to think about when dealing with symptoms, eating well should be near the top of the list.

At age 14, I first experienced my period. The cramping pain of PMS caused me to pass out every month when I was a teenager.

Since starting the pill, I have been free of menstrual cramps and associated discomfort for the past eleven years.

After I started taking the pill, my cycle and PMS symptoms both fell into a regular pattern.

Whenever my period started, my head would ache constantly and I would experience excruciating cramps for about half a day.

It was like I’d been hit by a bus in the days leading up to my period; I was extremely tired, and to make matters worse, I slept very little for about five days.

The annoying pimples, greasy forehead, sore boobies, and sudden bouts of crying have now become a part of the package.

However, after making some changes to my diet and supplement routine, I noticed a significant reduction in my PMS symptoms.

It’s still around, but it’s not nearly as strong as it once was.

These adjustments, along with some other professional recommendations, may help you finally conquer your PMS symptoms and reclaim your life.

I have found that taking a vitamin B complex daily helps keep my PMS under control.

When it comes to managing the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), Shona recommends making “simple switches” like adding a PMS supplement rich in B vitamins to your daily routine.

Vitamin B6 aids in digestion, calms the nerves, and contributes to the production of feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine, while B vitamins B2 and B3 help to control the hormonal fluctuations that cause oily skin and bloating.

I up my iron for energy 

Iron is lost during menstruation, making women more susceptible to anemia.

Chicken liver is full of iron but isn’t to everyone’s liking.

So, usually the night before I get my period, I’ll make some chicken livers and onions.

According to Shona, “iron helps to regulate our mood by its involvement in the creation of serotonin, aka ‘the happy hormone,'” so getting more iron can help alleviate some of the “less physical signs of PMS,” like depression and fatigue.

“Iron-rich foods are especially helpful after a particularly heavy flow to counteract the body’s loss of blood,” one source says.

Not keen on liver?

Shona suggests eating more iron-rich foods like lentils, quinoa, or dried fruit before and during your period. Iron is also abundant in red meat.

I eat oily fish three times a week to help my mood

I regularly consume fish such as sardines, mackerel, and salmon.

Whether or not it’s a coincidence, I feel like my mood is more stable around that time of the month now than it used to be.

According to Shona, “Omega 3 is proven to help with the production and availability of serotonin,” suggesting that people who are deficient in omega 3 may be more susceptible to mental health problems.

We can thank hormones like serotonin and dopamine for keeping our spirits up and keeping us optimistic about what the day holds.

Over half of women experience depression in the days leading up to their periods, which may be explained by the fact that oestrogen levels drop during PMS, causing a corresponding drop in serotonin and dopamine.

Shona elaborates, saying, “Omega 3 is classified as an essential nutrient, meaning that it cannot be produced by the body and must come from your diet or from an Omega 3 supplement.

Oily fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil are excellent omega-3 food sources for those who avoid animal products.

I take zinc to maintain calmer skin 

Acne during your period can be a real pain. Studies, however, have shown that zinc is crucial for skin’s regular function.

I’ve been taking a zinc supplement for a while now, and while I still occasionally get small pimples, the horrible, brutally large spots seem to have diminished in frequency and severity.

Shona says zinc is also great for brain health.

Zinc is a crucial mineral for a variety of chemical processes occurring in the brain.

Serotonin and dopamine are just two of the neurotransmitters whose release can be controlled by consuming zinc.

Anxiety and depression are just two of the problems that have been linked to inadequate zinc levels.

Zinc supplements and foods like shellfish, seeds, and nuts can help.

Magnesium helps me with constipation, so I take it every day.

Including the release and uptake of serotonin by the brain, “magnesium is required for more than 300 biomechanical reactions in the body,” says Shona.

Which could be another explanation for why I’m not quite as crazy as I was.

Magnesium before bedtime has also helped me combat the PMS constipation that causes me so much distress in the days leading up to my period.

A supplement can help. As can food sources.

Nuts, legumes, seeds, and whole grains are all good sources of magnesium; Shona recommends incorporating them into your diet on a regular basis to give your brain a helping hand when dealing with PMS symptoms.

Chasteberry can help hormones 

Shona reveals that chasteberry, the fruit of the chaste tree, is one of the lesser-known but effective treatments for the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

For a long time, women have turned to chasteberry to alleviate the discomforts associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as mood swings and breast tenderness.

For PMS, try chasteberry capsules or brew some chasteberry tea.

Load up on calcium to help bloating 

In addition to easing water retention, calcium has been shown to alleviate other PMS symptoms, including anxiety.

Kale, spinach, white beans, chickpeas, lentils, kiwi fruit, almonds, fortified plant-based milks, and soy foods like tofu and tempeh are all examples of calcium-rich foods, as mentioned by Shona.

Don’t be too hard on yourself 

It’s not always simple to eat healthily because PMS can make us crave unhealthy foods.

Shona explains that PMS symptoms, such as constipation, gas, and fatigue, can be made worse by eating sugary foods to combat the drop in blood sugar levels that occurs during PMS.

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While it’s true that regulating your diet can help reduce the symptoms of PMS, being too strict can actually make the condition worse.

However, if you experience similar improvements in PMS symptoms to mine, you may find that you no longer crave sugary, unhealthy foods in the days leading up to your period.

Lucy now has her PMS symptoms largely under control thanks to diet and supplements



Micheal Kurt

I earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State University. He is an avid sports lover who enjoys tennis, football, and a variety of other activities. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a huge Cardinals supporter.

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