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10 Healthy Eating Habits To Reduce premenstrual symptoms Naturally

10 healthy eating habits to reduce premenstrual syndrome symptoms is the deal for this write up.

But let us first of all understand premenstrual syndrome.

Premenstrual syndrome is referred to as some composite or multiple symptoms which also includes mood swings,anxiety, restlessness, emotional tension e.t.c that is often undergone by most women just few days to their period.

According to Kathrina  Dalton premenstrual syndrome refers to physical and emotional symptoms that occurs in the one to two weeks before a woman’s period [1].

Kathrina wrote her first book which introduced to the world what premenstrual syndrome is all about and the various treatment options available.

It is believed that Katherina coined the word PMS [2].

PMS is one of the important thing every woman needs to know about her period.

That time during the month when you feel all those back pain,restlessness,mood swings,cramps e.t.c should be well understood by every woman.

Premenstrual syndrome is experienced by an estimated average of 75% of women.

Many women experience breast tenderness and abdominal pain for instance  [3].

PMS mostly happens to women in the second phase of their menstrual cycle ;that is usually the period after ovulation.

We understand that the period or phase In the menstrual cycle after ovulation is often earmarked for the production of the female sex hormone progesterone [4]

PMS symptoms are not always severe, it is something something someone can have and still engage in her daily activities.

Although some women experience it so badly that they find it difficult to carry out their daily day to day activities.

A lot of treatments and remedies can help alleviate the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

Here we shall take our time to discuss 10 healthy eating habits  to reduce premenstrual syndrome naturally.

Symptoms of premenstrual syndrome

From our different definitions of premenstrual syndrome we have seen that they are a set of both physical and psychological symptoms that manifest between a few days to 2 weeks before the actual menstruation.

For the sake of clarity of understanding, we shall divide this symptoms into two;

  • Physical Symptoms
  • Psychological Symptoms

Physical Symptoms :

These are those symptoms that manifests physically on the body of a woman experiencing PMS .

These physical symptoms includes;

  • Abdominal pain
  • Back pain
  • Joint &muscle ache
  • Back&waist pain
  • Skin blemishes e.g Acne and pimples
  • Breast tenderness
  • Sleep disorders
  • Digestive disorders
  • Food cravings

The physical symptoms of premenstrual are often times misconceived for the early signs of pregnancy.

This is not true because there is always a clear difference between PMS and early pregnancy symptoms.

One can separate early pregnancy symptoms by the presence of implantation bleeding during the early days of pregnancy.

Psychological Symptoms of PMS :

The psychological symptoms often refers to those symptoms that have to do with emotional and mental disposition during the period premenstrual syndrome.

The psychological symptoms includes;

  • Insecurity
  • Exhaustion
  • Irritation
  • Mood swings
  • Feeling of losing control over one’s body
  • Anger

The psychological symptoms of PMS can get so bad that it might even affect mental health leading to depression or anxiety a condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

Medical Treatments Of Premenstrual syndrome

Although there isn’t enough research on what can really help to reduce pms,there areally still many medical treatments that are given to women who have pms .

The extent the effectiveness of these treatments are not clearly known.

More severe pms cases can be treated with the administration of some medications.

Most of these medications are not approved for the treatment of pms so they might have side effects.

The medical treatments includes;

  • Hormonal medications
  • Antidepressants like SSRIs (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors )which can help in reducing severe psychological problems caused by pms.
  • Pain killers  can effectively reduce pms symptoms but we should also know that most painkillers are NSAIDs and taking them is not usually advisable mostly for peptic ulcer patients. Ulcer patients should talk with their doctor on the type of pain killers to use.

Healthy Eating Habits To Reduce Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms 

The medical treatments for Pms symptoms is alleged to have side effects that might affect your health in the future.

What to do? Because the pains and restlessness won’t go away?

Isn’t it time to try out this healthy food to reduce the premenstrual syndrome symptoms?

This is a very effective way of reducing your period pains because it have to do with your diet.

Just a little adjustment in your daily diet menu and you are good to go.

The 10 healthy eating habits to reduce premenstrual syndrome symptoms naturally includes;

  1. Reduce salt intake
  2. Let the sugar be
  3. Drop that cup of alcohol
  4. Vitamin B6
  5. Stay away from caffeine
  6. St John’s wort
  7. Calcium
  8. Whole grains
  9. Chaste tree extracts
  10. Vegetable’s

Read also eating on a healthy Budget,eating this natural healthy foods and eating them on a good budget will help minimize premenstrual syndrome

Reduce Salt Intake

If you have pms symptoms then salt isn’t good for you right now .

You need to reduce the intake of salt in your diet .

Also staying away from packaged foods is the real deal because most packaged snacks contains salt.

Staying away from salt will help you reduce pms symptoms.

Let The Sugar Be!

It’s normal to crave sugar days before your period.

The reason is the shifting hormonal balance levels of oestrogen and progesterone as this reduces the level of brain serotonins.

These changes affects the woman’s mood which in turn triggers pms symptoms.

Women who have pms tends to crave sugar ,but this isn’t good for you during this time.

Just let the sugar be for the moment,it will help a lot in reducing pms symptoms.

Drop That Cup of Alcohol

Some women who experience premenstrual dysphoric disorders (which is a severe form of pms in which psychological and emotional symptoms are more pronounced) at an attempt to self-treat themselves embraces alcohol.

It is adviseable to cut down on alcohol intake to reduce pms symptoms.

 Vitamin B6

10 healthy foods to reduce premenstrual syndrome

10 healthy eating habits to reduce premenstrual syndrome symptoms naturally.

Vitamin B6 is found in variety of foods.

The richest sources includes ,fish, beef,liver,potatoes,and fruits.

Vitamin B6 is very important during Pms ,because it helps in altering mood swings.

Some other evidences suggests that vitamin B6 supplements could reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

A meta analysis of published trials in almost 1000 women with pms found that vitamin B6 is more effective in reducing pms symptoms than placebo.

The effectiveness of vitamin B6 in alleviating the mood related symptoms of pms could be due to its role as a co-factor in neurotransmitter biosynthesis.

Stay Away From Caffeine 

Women shold reduce intake of caffeine as caffeine contains chemicals that causes breast tenderness and bloating.

St John’s Wort

Alot has been heard of the numerous health benefits of the flowering plant from the family hypericaeae.

It’s medicinal effects is also extended to pms symptoms.

St John’s wort have high anti-depressant qualities.

Recall that women who have pms are being prescribed anti-depressants for during medical treatments of pms.

Instead of taking anti-depressant pills,women should opt-out to use St John’s  in reducing the symptoms of pms.

A 2015 meta-analysis review concluded that St John’s wort have superior efficacy to placebo in treating depression and it’s as effective as a standard anti-depressant from a standard pharmaceutical and have fewer side effects.


Foods like milk,cheese,vegetables  like broccoli,fishes with soft bones like sardines and salmon are good sources of calcium.

Getting enough calcium in your diet during pms will help in strengthening your bones and reduces back pains,muscle cramps and menstrual cramps.


Whole Grains

Whole grains are the healthiest kind of grains and are very important part of a healthy diet.Examples of whole grains includes;

  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Millet
  • Oatmeal
  • Popcorn

Whole grains should form an important part of your diet  during pms because they will make you feel full and reduce your food craving

 Chaste Tree Extracts

Chaste tree can also be called agnus castus,chaste berry,monk’s pepper e.t.c

It has been used to manage symptoms related to premenstrual syndrome.

Although its effective in the management of pms there are limited clinical trial to support these uses

Leafy Vegetables 

Vegetables like spinach helps ease your menstrual cramps.

Suprised? You shouldn’t be!

The key content of spinach is vitamin B6 and calcium.

Recall that we have talked about these two components helps ease pms.

Eating vegetables mostly spinach will do wonders and help you loosen up the annoying pains and kick the bloats.

Other Healthy Lifestyles To Adopt 

Recently a British company created a period policy also known as Menstrual leave which allows women to take days off work during their period .

You ask if this is a lifestyle?

Of course it is!

If you have pms you need a lot of rest coupled with few exercises to help keep your body fit.

In addition to resting and exercising you also need enough sleep.

It’s true that pms comes with sleep disorders but it is still very important to have enough sleep because sleep is detoxifying,slimming, mood boosting and refreshing.

Finally you can also apply hot water compress on the lower part of your abdomen to ease period cramps.

This also helps the period to flow freely.

Did you find this helpful then share it so others can learn too.


  1. Dalton,k.similarity of symptomatology of premenstrual syndrome and toxaemia of pregnancy and their response to progesterone. Br medj.1954 Nov 6;2 (4896):1071-1076. [Pubmed]
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Ford O,Lethaby A,Roberts H,Moldo BW.Progesterone for premenstrual syndrome ,Cochrame database system  Rev.2012; (3)CD00 3415. [Pubmed]
  4. Fact sheet for calcium [Pubmed]


About the author

Ekenechukwu Mbanefo

Mbanefo Ekenechukwu is a medical physiologist.
She is a creative and enthusiastic healthcare professional who takes delight in safeguarding your health for you through her insightful and informative health articles on women's health and fitness.


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