If you’re a woman who gets bad PMS (premenstrual syndrome), consider yourself in good company; about 3 out of every 4 women experience some of the symptoms of PMS, but only a third of all women ever receive treatment for PMS in the form of B vitamin therapy, food triggers or medical help.
What are the most common symptoms of PMS?
Some of the most common symptoms of PMS are bloating, depression, moodiness, food cravings and breast sensitivity. Symptoms of PMS occur about two weeks before the period even begins, making it that much harder to identify PMS as the instigator- for both you and your loved ones.
What triggers PMS?
That’s a good question! Many believe that PMS is influenced by a combination of hormones, neurotransmitters, stress and unhealthy diet. So many chemical reactions take place during PMS that it makes it difficult for scientists to pinpoint any one trigger for PMS.
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According to a study which was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, following a steady diet of foods high in vitamin B will lower your risk for suffering PMS.
Here’s what B vitamins can do to ease your PMS and have you smiling again- all month long:
- In the study, women were monitored for their intake of two B vitamins- vitamin B1 (thiamin) and vitamin B2 (riboflavin).
- Women who consumed high doses of both thiamin and riboflavin were found to have a significantly lower likeliness to suffer from PMS.
- Women who ate the most thiamin were 25% less likely to ever suffer from any symptoms of PMS.
- The test subjects who included more riboflavin than others were 35% less likely to suffer PMS than other women.
- Scientists believe that B vitamins help to prevent the onset of PMS by utilizing neurotransmitters in the brain.
- Riboflavin activates vitamin B6, which produced serotonin, a deficiency of which is known to cause depression, nervousness, binge eating and headaches.
- Thiamin regulates the neurotransmitter gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), a deficiency of which is known to influence anxiety.
- Thiamin-rich foods include fortified cereals, legumes and nuts.
- Good sources of riboflavin include eggs, dairy products like milk and yogurt (also good sources of vitamin B12), spinach and almonds.
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What else can you do to prevent PMS?
Some more good diet tips for preventing the symptoms of PMS are reducing your salt intake and increasing your consumption of calcium, magnesium and vitamin B6.
The Globe and Mail, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition