5 Foods You Should Eat When You Have PMS

updated May 30, 2019
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Nothing sounds better than chocolate or French fries (or both!) during that time of the month, but eating certain foods (like an entire pizza) can actually make your cramps more painful and your bloating worse.

So, what should you eat instead? Unfortunately there’s no magical cure for all your pesky muscle aches and volatile mood swings, but certain foods and nutrients have been shown to help combat those dreaded monthly symptoms. Here are five to try.

1. Calcium

A study of 466 women between the ages 18 and 45 showed that increased calcium can help alleviate moodiness, food cravings, bloating, and cramping. One of our favorite ways to up your daily intake? Yogurt! Opt for something low in sugar, but go ahead and throw some fresh berries and your favorite granola into the mix.

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fish like salmon, sardines, and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to boost your mood and even improve brain function. One of our favorite ways to cook salmon is also the easiest. Baked salmon is terrific with just a sprinkle of fresh herbs and a wedge of lemon squeezed over top. If you’re in the mood for something with a little more pizzazz, try serving it with some pesto or a dollop of Italian gremolata.

3. Magnesium

If you’re someone who suffers from migraines, loading up on foods that contain magnesium may offer some relief. A 2012 study by the New York Headache Center shows that magnesium deficiencies can lead to increased migraines. Luckily, we know just the salad for job. It’s full of magnesium-rich foods like quinoa, avocado, spinach, and walnuts.

4. Water

When is it not a bad idea to hydrate? The answer is almost never. Even though it might feel counterintuitive to consumer more water when you’re feeling bloated, staying hydrated actually helps flush out any excess sodium and water weight. It may also improve energy levels, combat your foul mood, and keep you laser-focused.

The only drawback? Drinking water can get boring. Luckily, there’s a more exciting alternative: cucumbers, which are 95 percent water.

Get a recipe: Herbed Smashed Cucumbers

5. Turmeric

Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, may help with physical, behavioral, and emotional PMS symptoms, according to a study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine. This refreshing turmeric spritzer also happens to be filled with other soothing ingredients like ginger, apple cider vinegar, and orange, making it both tasty and good for you.

What’s your go-to PMS food?