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PMS and Healthy Eating - Topic Overview

Healthy eating habits and good nutrition may help relieve some of your premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms.

  • Eat small meals high in complex carbohydrates and whole grains to keep your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day. Carbohydrates may also reduce food cravings. A balanced diet with the proper amount of protein may also help blood sugar levels remain steady.
  • Restrict the amount of salt in your diet. Salt can cause your body to hold water (water retention), which may make you feel bloated.
  • Avoid diets high in refined sugar, fat, caffeine, and alcohol because these substances are more likely to worsen PMS symptoms. Sugar may increase feelings of anxiety or tension.
  • Try a vitamin B6 supplement. Take no more than 100 mg daily. High doses of vitamin B6 can cause problems with the nervous system.
  • Try taking magnesium (400 mg daily). Eat a nutritious diet and be sure you are getting adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D. This may improve negative moods and reduce fluid retention and pain. It may take two or three menstrual cycles to see improvement in your PMS symptoms.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 14, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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