Premenstrual syndrome? Try these 5 plant foods for pain relief

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Elia Tabuenca García
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According to several scientific studies, 5 foods of plant origin can help women to relieve the symptoms of PMS

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According to several scientific studies, 5 foods of plant origin can help women to relieve severe pain and symptoms of PMS

Many women struggle with annoying people every month symptoms of PMS. However, there is a very simple way to try to alleviate them: include some plant foods in your diet.



Those who feel discomfort, pain or swelling near the cycle are often looking for sugary foods or, more generally, the so-called "comfort food". In fact, to relieve symptoms, it would be good to consume healthy, plant-based foods. (Also Read: Do You Suffer From PMS? Try Green Anise To Relieve Symptoms)

Daily exercise, changes in diet and a healthy lifestyle in general are the keys to overcoming, in most cases, the symptoms related to the arrival of the period. Always valid advice are  reduce sodium (which can help cause increased water retention and swelling) and eliminate alcohol consumption, which can aggravate PMS symptoms.

But what are the plant foods that scientific studies have shown to be useful in case of PMS?

Soy based foods

Soy-based foods such as tofu and edamame are rich in calcium, a mineral essential for various functions of our body. A 2019 study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology Science found that low calcium levels worsen PMS symptoms, suggesting that a diet rich in PMS can reduce or even eliminate bothersome symptoms.

The mushrooms

Mushrooms are one of the few good plant sources of vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin essential for bone health. One study found that when certain varieties of mushrooms, such as fresh champignons, are exposed to midday sunlight, they generate significant amounts of vitamin D2.

Vitamin D is a particularly useful substance in reducing PMS symptoms, according to a study published in Gynecological Endocrinology. Research has shown that vitamin D supplementation is associated with a reduction in several symptoms related to the onset of periods including back pain and painful cramps.


Dark chocolate

Among the recommended foods there is also dark chocolate which, rich in flavonoids, helps to improve mood, often low in those suffering from premenstrual syndrome. The antioxidants found in chocolate also help protect the body from toxins and stressors.


A 2017 study, published in Frontiers in Nutrition, found a link between the flavonoids present in cocoa and improved cognitive conditions, attention, processing speed and memory, all factors linked to mood regulation.

The chocolate to be preferred is the one with at least 70% cocoa, as it is richer in flavonoids and low in sugars and fats.

Nuts and seeds

Healthy fats that contain nuts, dried fruit and seeds are also excellent allies to counteract premenstrual symptoms. These are Omega-3 fatty acids, which are useful for both the brain and the rest of the body. A 2017 study, published in the Scholars Academic Journal of Pharmacy (SAJP), found that omega-3 fatty acids bring some relief from PMS. The results suggested that these good fats may lead to improved uterine function, producing anti-inflammatory prostaglandins and suppressing inflammatory prostaglandins.

Forest fruits

Oxidative stress is linked to premenstrual and menstrual symptoms, according to a 2020 study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research. Berries are extremely useful for women suffering from PMS as they are full of antioxidants which can help reduce oxidative stress. They also help control free radicals, unstable molecules that can cause damage to the body.

These fruits contain polyphenols, which have been shown to aid in weight management, indigestion and even improve mood, providing PMS relief. Blueberries, blackberries and wild strawberries have the highest number of polyphenols among all berries, so they should be preferred, when in season, for healthy snacks.


Trying to see if these foods can actually help in case you suffer from PMS does not cost much and, especially in the case of chocolate and berries, it is also extremely pleasant. Give it a try!

Fonti: Obstetrics & Gynecology Science / Gynecological Endocrinology / Frontiers in Nutrition / SAJP /Journal of Psychosomatic Research


About PMS you may also be interested in:

  • Premenstrual Syndrome: Remedies that work to relieve symptoms
  • Premenstrual syndrome: the cause is a genetic alteration
  • AIFA withdraws well-known progesterone drug for PMS. BRAND AND BATCH
  • Premenstrual syndrome: does it really exist (and can be addressed with natural remedies)
  • Menstrual cycle: symptoms, phases and duration
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