Statistics estimate that up to 90% of women report at least one premenstrual symptom that appears in the week or two leading up to menstruation. This includes bloating, moodiness, and headaches, though some women also report food cravings, cramping, fatigue, and anxiety. No matter the symptoms, there are some natural ways to ease them and make yourself more comfortable during PMS. Of course, it’s important to always discuss the use of supplements with your doctor before adding them to your routine. In the meantime, the following five supplements are ideal options to consider.
Calcium is a vital nutrient for women of all ages because it helps support healthy bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis later in life. Research has found that a calcium supplement can dramatically reduce the appearance of certain symptoms during PMS, making it an ideal way to treat the condition each month. The use of calcium supplements helps reduce moodiness, including emotional changes, depression, and anxiety. Some study participants also reported less water retention with the use of calcium supplements.
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Most women need up to 1,300 milligrams of calcium each day so start by adding 500 milligrams to your routine. In addition to supplements, you can increase your calcium intake by eating more cheese, milk, yogurt, and leafy green vegetables. It’s important to note that too much calcium can cause constipation and calcium supplements are not appropriate for women who suffer from kidney stones.
Some research has found that being low in magnesium can lead to a higher incidence of PMS symptoms, so it makes sense that adding some to your diet can help prevent and ease such symptoms. A magnesium supplement was found to help with water retention, sleep disturbances, breast tenderness, anxiety, and depression. If you are on certain medications, magnesium supplements may interfere so be sure to mention them to your doctor beforehand.
Start with 200 to 250 milligrams of magnesium each day from a supplement. You might also think about adding to your intake through foods like almonds, peanuts, and green leafy vegetables. Other healthy sources of magnesium include whole wheat, black beans, quinoa, sesame seeds, and tofu.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for many reasons, including boosting brain and heart health and satisfying your appetite. However, research shows that an omega-3 supplement can help control both the physical and the emotional symptoms of PMS. That includes depression, headache, bloating, anxiety, trouble concentrating, and breast tenderness.
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You can get a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids from a supplement that contains both DHA and EPA. If you happen to be a vegetarian, an algae-based source of omega-3s is a good substitute. Research shows that the benefits increase as you build the amount of omega-3s stored in your body so it’s important to continue to take the supplements every day. You can also get omega-3s from oily types of fish like sardines, trout, and salmon. The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings of fish each week and doing so in a week or two before menstruation serves the double purpose of also controlling PMS symptoms.
Women for thousands of years have used chasteberry to treat PMS. Some research shows that chasteberry can effectively relieve physical symptoms, including headaches, bloating, and breast pain. It can also help alleviate mood swings associated with PMS. The reason chasteberry works is because it’s been found to help support of the hormone progesterone, which is important for balancing estrogen levels, helping to control symptoms of PMS.
Chasteberry supplements aren’t right for every woman. It’s important to talk to your doctor before using it because it can interfere with certain oral contraceptives and antipsychotic medications. If you have breast cancer, it’s also not appropriate to use chasteberry as the fluctuation in hormones it causes can be detrimental to your condition. Look for chasteberry supplements at your local health food store once your doctor has approved their use.
Getting adequate amounts of vitamin B6 on a regular basis is important for balancing your mood. It makes sense, then, that taking vitamin B6 supplements can help ease the emotional symptoms of PMS, including irritability, moodiness, and anxiety. Research is limited on the use of vitamin B6 but some small studies have found promising results when using it to treat PMS symptoms.
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Most women get enough vitamin B6 from their diet, but if you feel you’re falling short, a supplement of 50 to 100 milligrams is an appropriate addition to your daily routine. Vitamin B6, also called pyridoxine, can also be found in a variety of foods, including tuna, salmon, chickpeas, beef liver, fortified cereal, chicken, turkey, and ground beef. Smaller amounts can be found in plant foods like squash, onions, raisins, nuts, spinach, and tofu.
The Bottom Line
The above-mentioned supplements are ideal choices to treat PMS, but there are some others that can be beneficial as well. That includes evening primrose, vitamin D, and ginkgo biloba. Try experimenting with your options to find what works best for you. You might find that eating a diet rich in fresh whole foods and low in junk food can also help you feel better during PMS since both salt and sugar can exacerbate your symptoms.
Exercise is also an effective way to battle PMS so combine your healthy eating habits and supplements of choice with plenty of physical activity. Essential oils and tea are other ways to feel better during PMS that don’t require taking any medication. Natural options are good for your health and support you during PMS so be sure to make them a consistent part of your routine so that you can get the most out of them. In just a few months, you should notice a difference, but you may experience relief very soon after you begin the supplement you choose. That should be all you need to keep up with it and ensure a better quality of life and more comfort during PMS each month.
Silvia Woolard is a young passionate writer at BestEssays Au and novice entrepreneur from Phoenix. In a free time, she loves traveling and writing. Mostly, she works in a field of popular psychology. Follow Silvia at her Twitter!