9 out of every 10 women have had Premenstrual Syndromes (PMS) which may include: aches, pains, emotional stress, abdominal bloating, acne, anxiety, backache, breast swelling and tenderness, cramps, depression, intense food cravings, dizzy or fainting spells, fatigue, headaches, nausea, insomnia, altered sex drive, swelling of the fingers and ankles, and personality changes such as drastic mood swings, outbursts of anger, violence and sadness that can lead to depression. But keep your chin up ladies and walk away from those donut holes and fried onion rings! The foods we eat and our general lifestyles have great effects on whether or not we experience those monthly symptoms and how severe we feel them, as well.
Researchers recently analyzed the diets of over 1,000 women who suffered from PMS and compared their diets to the diets of women who were PMS-free. The following is a list of all the vitamins, minerals and top sources of foods that will turn your PMS day into one that is filled with LOL!
More research is needed to confirm the link. Some researchers have concluded that vitamins B1 and B2 could somehow increase two brain neurotransmitters — serotonin and dopamine, and a lack of these two neurotransmitters could exacerbate PMS symptoms. What is even better to know, is that people who ate two times the recommended daily value of B1- and B2-rich foods (not supplements), cut their PMS symptoms by 25-35 %! Vitamin B6 helps the body make dopamine (a neurotransmitter), and may reduce irritability, depression and breast tenderness. High intakes of thiamin (vitamin B1) and riboflavin (vitamin B2) — both found in spinach — appeared to reduce the risk of PMS symptoms by up to 35 percent.
Top sources of vitamin B include beef, halibut, sardines, eggs, dairy products, chickpeas, turkey, and chicken. Some vegetarian sources of B include, bananas, potatoes, sunflower seeds, spinach, tempeh, lentils, some whole grains, chili peppers, green vegetables.
Recommended Dietary Allowance
Depending on age and lifestyle, the following are the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for B Vitamins. The RDA of B-12 for infants under 12 months is 0.4 to 0.5 micrograms, or mcg. The RDA for ages 1 to 3 is 0.9mcg and 1.2mcg for ages 4 to 8. The RDA for children ages 9 to 13 is 1.8mcg and 2.4mcg for adults age 14 and over. The RDA for pregnant women is 2.6mcg and 2.8mcg for breastfeeding women.
Magnesium helps fight water retention and bloating, while manganese may also help with mood issues like irritability and depression. In fact, magnesium–rich food help both women reduce water retention and regulate the activity of serotonin, the “feel–good” neurotransmitter that impacts mood. In studies, women who experience PMS symptoms have been shown to have lower levels of magnesium than those who don’t get PMS. Top sources are peanut butter, spinach, edamame, green vegetables, some beans, peas, nuts, seeds, and whole, unrefined grains such as brown rice, are also good sources of magnesium.
Recommended Dietary Allowance Magnesium:
Children 1-3 years old: 80 milligrams, 4-8 years old: 130 milligrams, 9-13 years old: 240 milligrams, 14-18 years old (boys): 410 milligrams, 14-18 years old (girls): 360 milligrams. Adult females: 310 milligrams. Women who are pregnant: 360-400 milligrams, and women who are breastfeeding: 320-360 milligrams. Adult males: 400 milligram.
Manganese is required by the body for proper enzyme functioning, nutrient absorption, wound healing, and bone development. Top sources of Manganese include, cloves, saffron, oat and rice bran, nuts, shellfish, cocoa powder, pumpkin seeds, flax, edemame and sunflower seeds. When women have great sources of magnesium, vitamin B and manganese (like those found in brown rice), these nutrients may help erase the feelings of feeling sad, depressed, irritable, and moody around the time of a period. 5mg recommended daily allowance for children 4 years old and older.
Plenty of calcium and vitamin D have beneficial effects on a woman’s menstrual cycle. Daily doses of calcium may decrease symptoms of PMS such as, bloating, stomach cramps, irritability and mood swings. But think outside of the dairy wheel and your typical suggested low-fat dairy items for calcium sources! Your greens have great, sometimes even more calcium than your dairy friends. For people who are lactose intolerant or vegetarian, almonds and salmon, mustard greens, kale, Chinese cabbage, okra, broccoli, bok choy, soy beans and soy nuts, tofu made with calcium sulfate, and tree ripened orange juice, For the dairy lovers, remember that too much calcium from your faithful cows may actually hinder the body’s ability to absorb magnesium.
Daily Dietary Allowances of Calcium
Calcium for children 1-3 years is 700 mg. Children 4-8 years, 1000 mg per day. Children and teens 9-18 years is 1,300 mg per day. Adults age 19-50 years and men ages 51-70, 1000 mg per day. An intake of 1200 mg of calcium is recommended for women over 51 and for men over 70.
Eating all those dark leafy greens not only gives you great sources of vitamins and minerals to combat PMS symptoms, consuming additional fiber can help your body get rid of excess estrogen, thereby reducing PMS symptoms by eliminating toxins and making it one of the more effective PMS home remedies (and also help steer your hunger cravings away from the salty, sweet, and fried foods that may keep us feeling lethargic and bloated).
As you continue reading, also be reminded that PMS is largely caused (and exacerbated) by a deficiency of vitamins and minerals in the body, and it can be remedied by eating properly. Vitamin D is easy to get if you are a professional surfer living in sunny southern California. For the rest of us folks that do not reside there, it may take a little work to get our fair share.
Since the body can’t absorb calcium without the help of vitamin D, it’s critical to get enough of both nutrients, especially if you experience uncomfortable PMS symptoms. Best vitamin D sources are fish, including salmon (choose wild caught), Atlantic mackerel, sardines, herring, oysters, trout, catfish, and cod liver oil. Aside from contributing to calcium absorption, the vitamin D in these fish may act through additional pathways to reduce PMS symptoms. Studies suggest a diet rich in vitamin D may reduce the risk of PMS by about 40 percent.
Suggested Daily Dietary Allowance
Children ages 9 and older should take 600 milligrams (with an estimated average requirement of 400 International Units per day—and no more than 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day). People 71 years and older should take 800 mg of the vitamin per day, according to the report. (Children aged 4 to 8 years should not have more than 3,000 IU/day and those aged 1 to 3 years should not have more than 2,500 IU/day.) Source: Scientific American
These healthy fats have been shown to reduce cramping caused by menstruation, and generally aid in lessening PMS symptoms, especially when combined with vitamin E. Salmon, tuna, olive oil, flaxseeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds and soybeans are all excellent sources of omega-3. This list almost collectively blends all the groups of suggested vitamins together. Omega 3’s is one of my favorite supplements to take.
Suggested Daily Allowance
The Institute of Medicine, 2002, recommends 1.6 g of omega 3 for adult males and 1.1 g for adult females per day. The American Heart Association recommends that healthy people should eat oily fish at least twice a week in addition to consuming (vegetarian) foods rich in ALA. They also recommend that people with cardiovascular disease consume 1.0 g of DHA and EPA per day. Aim to consume wild caught fish, not farmed.