Diets high in iron can help ease PMS symptoms, according to a new study. But there’s a catch: It has to be iron from plant-based sources. Score one for leafy greens and sunflower seeds!
In the study, researchers looked at women’s diets and PMS-symptom severity over a 10 -year period. Those who ate a diet high in plant-derived iron were about 33% less likely to suffer from PMS than women who consumed less iron.
Zinc was also found to make a difference, with higher levels of zinc also associated with lower PMS levels among study participants.
“It does look like a range of minerals are important for menstrual cycle health and for PMS,” said senior study author Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson, an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in recommending that women “consume a balanced diet.”
Want to add more vegetarian and vegan sources of iron to your diet? Stock up on the following 10 iron-rich foods:
1. Dried herbs. Thyme, parsley, mint, black pepper, cumin, dill, oregano, bay leaf, coriander, basil, turmeric, rosemary, anise seed, fenugreek, chervil and tarragon are all good sources.
2. Raw cocoa or cacao powder.
3. Pumpkin, squash and sesame seeds (or tahini).
4. Sun dried tomatoes.
5. Spinach and other leafy greens.
6. Dried apricots.
7. Black beans, navy beans and pinto beans.
8. Lentils and black-eyed peas