Can Iron-Rich Foods Put A Stop To Premenstrual Syndrome?

Premenstrual Syndrome

There is nothing fun or pleasant about P-M-S or Premenstrual Syndrome. Just thinking about all the cramping, bloating and irritability is enough to make most women wince. What if you could lessen the symptoms with what you eat?

New research says women who eat more iron-rich foods were up to 40 percent less likely to develop P-M-S than women who consumed lesser amounts. The 10-year study  followed 3,000 women and had them fill out  food questionnaires

The study’s author says that iron is involved in the production of serotonin, which is  a neurotransmitter that helps in the regulation of mood. The type of iron that seemed to work was called nonheme (non-heem) –the kind that comes from plants or supplements, as opposed to iron found in meat.

Iron-rich food includes

The iron-rich food sources indicated in the study included:

  • cereal (3/4 cup contains 18 mg)
  • kidney beans (1 cup cooked contains 5.2 mg)
  • lentils (1 cup cooked contains 6.6 mg)
  • spinach (1/2 cup cooked contains 3.2 mg

The average women’s daily vitamin supplement contains 18 mg of iron.

While the study shows promising anecdotal evidence, before you look to spinach salad to cure your monthly symptoms, do yourself a favor and report any mood or physical changes to your doctor. KnowMore’s Ob-Gyn Evelyn Minaya says PMS involves a lot of factors and patients may need a full work-up with their physician, including blood work.  Dr. Minaya also points out that women with gluten sensitivity have difficulty absorbing iron. So an iron-rich diet won’t be the best solution for them.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that iron isn’t the only answer for improving P-M-S. Other vitamins, including Vitamin B12… as well as regular exercise, and proven stress-reducers, like mediation and yoga, all help to lessen P-M-S symptoms in some women. Once you’ve identified your symptoms, work with your doctor to target treatment specific to your needs and body.

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