Altering your diet may help women tackle those annoying premenstrual stresses naturally without having to turn to tablets.
New research has found that women who increase their iron intake through plant-based sources, like leafy greens and beans, were a third less likely to develop PMS.
The study also found that upping your zinc intake through fruits and vegetables, resulted in a decline in PMS symptoms such as breast tenderness, bloating, depression and anxiety.
Science folk aren't quite sure why it works…they just say it does. One line of reasoning suggests that higher levels of iron might reduce the pain and emotional symptoms of PMT by boosting the levels of serotonin in the brain.
Low serotonin levels have been found in the past to play a part in clinical depression.
The research carried out in America followed the food diaries of various groups of women over ten years.
They found that those who consumed more than 20mg of non-meat based iron a day had a significantly dropped rate of PMS, and those consuming 50mg had the lowest risk.
'If a woman wants to shift to a more plant-based diet, it may contribute overall to reduced oxidative stress and inflammation, which may help reduce the symptoms of PMS, and heart disease and other conditions,' explained Clinical nutritionist Samantha Heller from NYU Centre for Musculoskeletal Care.
She added, 'It's important to speak with your physician before supplementing with any minerals…There's a delicate balance in the body, and women need to be very thoughtful before they start using supplements.'
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