PMS – Food that helps kick it to the curb

PMS (pmt), urgh! When it comes to the monthly curse, we women really did draw the short straw. Not only am I bloated and irrational, my mood swings are so fast that it could snap your neck if you blinked and missed the danger signs (a nano’s nano second would be too long).

Another symptom of my PMS is overeating. I want to eat everything in sight and it’s not my usual healthy (well, fairly healthy) stuff. I don’t want fruit unless it’s in a pie or vegetables unless it’s mashed and creamy or water unless it’s flavoured with something bubbly and has no water in it, and I certainly don’t want to do anything remotely active as walking to the car is an effort.  The fact that I should be staying as healthy as possible during this hideous time completely escapes me when I’m in the clutches of PMS.


But the good news for emotional eaters like me is that I can actually help my PMS symptoms with food. Oh hallelujah!! If you’re a PMS sufferer like me, here’s what you gotta include:

Vitamin B

B stands for Bestie when it comes to PMS. Vitamins B1, B2 and B6 help with mood swings, headaches and anxiety which are all common symptoms of PMS. You could take a supplement but where’s the fun in that? Let’s eat:

  • Tuna
  • Chicken breast
  • Lean turkey
  • Potatoes (with the skin on)
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Nuts
  • Spinach
  • Banana
  • Avocado
  • Capsicum

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbs are packed with fibre, low GI and will help to balance out your blood sugar levels and help with those nasty little mood swings through serotonin production (our body’s happy hormone). Here’s how to eat through it:

  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Whole-wheat (wholegrain) pasta
  • Multigrain bread
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Veges – all veges are good and try to make it colourful so you get a wide range of vitamins and minerals, but specifically make sure you’ve got cauliflower, broccoli, green beans and kale.
  • Fruit.


Magnesium can help to reduce period pain, food cravings, water retention and serotonin production. So make sure you get some:

  • Spinach
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fish
  • Beans and lentils
  • Wholegrains
  • Avocado
  • Low fat dairy
  • Bananas



Not only does calcium help keep our bones strong and healthy, but it is also known to reduce moodiness, water retention, PMS pain and depression. Chow down on:

  • Reduced fat cheese
  • Low fat natural yogurt
  • Low fat fruit yogurt (just watch the sugar content)
  • Chia seeds
  • Tofu
  • Kale
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Almonds
  • Oranges.

Vitamin D

The body needs vitamin D to help it absorb calcium so it’s important to get enough at that time of the month. There aren’t too many foods around that contain good levels of Vitamin D so try to get some sunlight (fantastic source of vit D), but also include:

  • Fish – mackerel, salmon, sardines, tuna
  • Mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight (leave a bowl out in-front a sunny window)
  • Fortified tofu
  • Fortified dairy
  • Eggs.


Other good ideas:

  • Try to reduce your salt intake to help with the bloating. Salt causes water retention and let’s face it, none of us need that right now!
  • Stay hydrated with plenty of water and herbal tea.
  • Keep up the exercise. If you can’t face your normal Spin Class get out for a walk, at least that way you may get some more Vitamin D and you’ll feel better for the light exercise.

My fave PMS-fighting comfort food recipes:

  1. Light Tuna Quinoa Bake
  2. Teriyaki Salmon
  3. Chicken Quinoa Pilaf
  4. Chicken Potato Bake
  5. Lentil Soup
  6. Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

For more recipes and tips for kicking your PMS to the curb, visit Mood Foods on the site.


Do you suffer with PMS? What do you crave?




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