10 Key Takeaways
Leafy Greens: Leafy greens like spinach and kale are rich in iron, a nutrient that is important for maintaining healthy blood flow during menstruation. Iron is needed to make hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the body's tissues. Women who have heavy periods or a history of anemia may benefit from increasing their intake of iron-rich foods.
Fatty Fish: Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3s can help reduce menstrual cramps and inflammation, which are common symptoms of PMS.
Whole Grains: Whole grains like brown rice and quinoa are rich in fiber, which can help regulate digestion and promote hormonal balance. Fiber can also help lower levels of estrogen in the body, which can be beneficial for women who have high levels of this hormone.
Nuts: Nuts like almonds and walnuts are rich in vitamin E, a nutrient that has antioxidant properties. Vitamin E can help reduce inflammation and relieve menstrual cramps.
Legumes: Legumes like lentils and chickpeas are rich in magnesium, a mineral that can help reduce PMS symptoms like bloating and mood swings. Magnesium can also help regulate muscle and nerve function, which can be beneficial for women who experience cramps during menstruation.
Avocado: Avocado is high in vitamin B6, a nutrient that can help regulate hormones and reduce PMS symptoms. Vitamin B6 can also help boost mood and reduce stress, which are common symptoms of PMS.
Berries: Berries like strawberries and raspberries are high in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and promote hormonal balance. Berries are also rich in vitamin C, a nutrient that can help boost the immune system and improve iron absorption.
Ginger: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can help relieve menstrual cramps and nausea. Ginger can also help improve digestion and reduce bloating, which are common symptoms of PMS.
Turmeric: Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce PMS symptoms like cramps and bloating. Turmeric can also help boost the immune system and improve mood during menstruation.
Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is high in magnesium and antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and improve mood during menstruation. Dark chocolate can also help boost energy levels and reduce stress, which are common symptoms of PMS.
"Dietary factors and menstrual pain in young women," published in the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (2017): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28365443
"Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on the Adipose Tissue Response to Inflammation and Insulin Resistance: Impact on the Endocrine System," published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology (2018): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29154769
"Dietary fiber intake and menstrual pain in reproductive age women," published in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology (2017): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29050747