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Diet and premenstrual syndrome

HK BioTek Nutritionist, Intern

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a group of physical and emotional changes that occurs 1 or 2 weeks before your menstruation period. Not every female would have the same signs and symptoms, and the exact cause of PMS is still an unknown. The change in hormone levels might be the main reason that contributes to neuroendocrine conduction in the brain and induces a range of discomfort signs.

  • Psychologically: anxious, depressed, mood swing, tense, weak concentration etc

  • Physiologically: aches, appetite changes, tender breasts, swollen hands and feet, tired, weight gain etc

Due to the hormonal changes in women’s bodies that they tend to crave for high fat and sugary food a few days before the start of menstrual period, in order to soothe their unstable emotions. Nutrition therefore plays an important role in coping with PMS, by substituting the wants for unhealthy food with the healthy ones so as to obtain essential nutrients with a balanced diet. The 6 nutrients listed below might help PMS!


  • Prevent premenstrual aches and pains

  • Food source: low-fat milk and dairy product, dark green vegetables such as broccoli etc

Omega 3 fatty acid

  • Relieves inflammation, immune response, menstrual pain and headache

  • Food source: abyssal fish such as salmon and sardine, walnuts and avocado etc

Low GI food

  • Lower the hungriness caused by fluctuating blood glucose level

  • Food source: whole grains, berries fruits etc


  • Stabilizes mood by suppressing negative emotions

  • Give a hypnotic effect

  • Assist in calcium absorption

  • Food source: dark green vegetables, nuts, banana etc

Vitamin A

  • Balance oil secretion, reducing premenstrual acne

  • Food source: liver, carrot, pumpkin, dark green vegetables etc

Vitamin B

  • Relieves premenstrual headache and anxiousness

  • Food source: soybean, egg, oat, nuts, quinoa, whole grains etc


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