Eat more of these vitamins and herbs to stop the hormonal mood swings of PMS in its tracks.
As if periods aren’t inconvenient enough, it often comes along with the unfortunate side effects of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. It’s estimated that over 90 percent of women get some form of PMS during each cycle. (1)
You don’t have to wait for menopause to ease your PMS symptoms for good. These seven natural remedies can provide quick relief, while correcting the underlying hormonal imbalances that cause the issues in the first place.
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Symptoms of PMS
PMS symptoms tend to kick in shortly after ovulation, around seven to 10 days before the period could be expected. While PMS varies from woman to woman, and even from one cycle to the next, common symptoms include: (2, 3, 4)
- Brain fog
- Poor concentration
- Swollen and tender breasts
- Constipation and/or diarrhea
- Reduced tolerance for noise and light
- Irritability, moodiness, or aggressive behavior
- Sleep problems
- Appetite changes or cravings
- Mood swings
- Reduced sex drive
- Skin problems
Common Causes of PMS
- Fluctuating hormone levels or imbalances
- Chemical changes in the brain
- A diet high processed foods
- Vitamin or mineral inadequacy or deficiency
- Emotional problems
- Thyroid disorders
- High levels of alcohol or caffeine consumption
- Excess intake of salty foods
- Sedentary lifestyle
Most women have a unique combination of factors leading to PMS symptoms, and addressing just one of them is probably not enough. Instead, correct the underlying hormone imbalances with supportive anti-inflammatory nutrients to relieve symptoms.
Seven Vitamins and Herbs That Balance PMS
Instead of reaching for a short-term pain reliever, try the following seven natural remedies. You’ll balance out the core causes of PMS for long-term relief from monthly hormonal woes.
As always, ask your doctor before starting any supplements to make sure it won’t interact with any medications.
If you aren’t getting enough calcium in your diet, start with this important mineral. Research shows that supplementing with calcium can help reduce major PMS symptoms like fatigue, bloating, and mood swings. (11)
You don’t need to eat dairy to get enough calcium in your diet. Try eating more of these Paleo calcium-rich foods: (14)
- 1 cup of collard greens = 360 mg
- 3 oz of canned bone-in sardines = 325 mg
- 1 cup of broccoli rabe = 200 mg
- 3 oz of canned bone-in salmon = 180 mg
- 1 cup of kale = 180 mg
- 1 cup of bok choy = 160 mg
- 2 dried figs = 65 mg
- 1 cup of broccoli = 60 mg
- 1 orange = 55 mg
If you choose to supplement, be sure to get an absorbable form like dicalcium malate.
2. Chaste Tree Berry
Chaste tree berry is an herbal supplement derived from dark purple berries of a shrub known as the vitex agnus-castus tree.
Research finds that chaste tree berry can help ease PMS symptoms like bloating, headaches, breast pain, sleep disturbances, mood disorders, and even cramping. (15, 16) Regular use will increase your progesterone levels over time, counterbalancing the effects of estrogen dominance that can worsen PMS. (17)
Choose a high-quality herbal extract supplement like this one, and aim for between 150 to 1,000 milligrams per day, for up to four months at a time.
It’s common for women with PMS to be low in this essential mineral. Magnesium helps promote muscle relaxation, sleep, and hormone balance. Research from 2010 showed that magnesium, in combination with vitamin B6, helped reduce PMS symptoms like anxiety, depression, breast pain, and sleep problems. (18)
The recommended daily amount for magnesium is 310 to 320 milligrams for women of reproductive age. (19) Try eating more of these magnesium-rich foods:
- 1 ounce of almonds = 80 mg
- ½ cup spinach = 78 mg
- 1 ounce of cashews = 74 mg
- 1 cup of avocado = 44 mg
- 6 ounces of chicken breast = 44 mg
- 1 banana = 32 mg
If you’d like to supplement, choose an absorbable form like magnesium citrate.
4. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 is great for PMS relief. It helps produce neurotransmitters and hormones like progesterone, which balances the brain and relieves anxiety and depression. B6 also helps to reduce symptoms of excess estrogen and can reduce histamine levels – which are another underlying cause of PMS. (20, 21)
The recommended daily intake for B6 is 1.2 to 1.3 milligrams for women of reproductive age. Try eating more of these foods that are naturally rich in B6:
- Beef liver
- Yellowfin tuna
- Sockeye salmon
- Chicken breast
- Ground beef
- Winter squash
If you eat at least six ounces per day of meat, you’re likely getting enough B6. However, if you’re vegetarian or vegan, or you have genetic mutations that make absorbing and converting B6 into the active form, you might struggle to get enough through diet alone.
To supplement with B6, choose the active form known as P5P. Don’t take more than 50 milligrams per day, as over-supplementing can damage nerves.
5. Omega-3 Fats
Essential fatty acids, also known as omega-3 fats, fight the inflammation that can trigger PMS symptoms. Eating more of these healthy fats can naturally reduce breast pain, headaches, bloating, depression, anxiety, and brain fog. (22)
The best sources of omega-3 fats are seafood like salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring. Be aware that it’s not only about eating enough omega-3 fats but cutting down on omega-6 fatty acids as well. For example, eating too many nuts and seeds, which are high in omega-6 fatty acids, can affect your ratio and worsen symptoms. (23)
If you’re not a fan of seafood, you can take a high-quality omega-3 supplement like this.
Adaptogenic herbs help the body to better deal with stress. One study found that Rhodiola can reduce stress levels after just three days of supplementation, with continuing improvement for up to four weeks. (25)
Since many of the symptoms of PMS are driven by inflammation, it’s important to quell those flames. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is a master at reducing inflammatory processes in the body. Turmeric also supports liver detoxification and can promote hormone balance. (27)
Research from 2015 shows that curcumin can downgrade the severity of common PMS symptoms thanks to its ability to modulate both inflammation and neurotransmitters. (28)
Curcumin needs to be paired with black pepper in order to make it bioavailable. Be sure to crack black pepper in your favorite turmeric foods and drinks. It’s also important to find a supplement that clearly states that black pepper is included in the capsules, like this product.
You don’t have to accept depression, mood swings, anxiety, or physical pain as a normal part of menstruation. Try getting more of these important vitamins and nutrients that can help ease PMS symptoms naturally.
If you think your thyroid is causing your PMS symptoms, grab a copy of our thyroid-friendly cookbook developed by clinical nutritionist Kinsey Jackson. You’ll find 100 mouth-watering recipes filled with the right minerals and nutrients to support your thyroid and reverse autoimmunity.