Foods rich in iron and zinc in the fight against PMS

A study has shown that eating plant foods rich in iron  and  zinc  can help relieve and reduce  premenstrual syndrome (PMS) . Premenstrual tension is a combination of psychological symptoms, such as  depression , and physical ones, such as  headaches . PMS includes about 150 different symptoms. It is estimated that 8-15% of women of childbearing age are affected by this condition.

plant-based iron

This study, published at the end of February 2013, in the American Journal of Epidemiology, revealed that women who consume iron-rich foods of plant origin had three times less risk of developing premenstrual tension. Vegetables rich in iron are: beans, green leafy vegetables or spirulina (an algae). The study involved 3,000 women and was carried out over 10 years.

The risk of developing premenstrual tension significantly decreased among women who consumed more than 20 mg of iron per day. The lowest risk was seen in women taking more than 50 mg of iron per day. However, according to Ms. Bertone-Johnson, who participated in the study, the recommended maximum daily intake for women of childbearing age is 18 mg per day. It is important not to exceed the daily dose of iron to avoid side effects, which are often dangerous for health.

According to the researchers, the consumption of iron (and other minerals effective in the treatment of PMS, such as zinc,  magnesium  and  calcium ) can be done through food or through supplements. The study focused on iron from plant sources, it is also preferable to consume dietary supplements with iron from plant sources (i.e. iron not bound to heme, a molecule found in iron from animal sources such as meat ).

The effect of iron may be based on the increases, thanks to this mineral, of serotonin levels in the brain. This last molecule has a positive effect on some PMS psychological disorders such as depression.

It is interesting to know that it is easy to measure blood iron levels through a simple blood test. Your doctor can check your iron levels in the body, and if it is too low, they can prescribe food supplements, iron-containing medications, or better yet, encourage you to eat iron-rich foods.


This American study also demonstrated that zinc consumption can significantly influence premenstrual tension. Women who consume more than 10 mg of zinc per day seem to enjoy the favorable effect of this trace element on PMS. Like iron, you shouldn’t consume more than the recommended daily allowance to avoid side effects. It is known that excess zinc can affect the concentration of copper in the body.

According to the researchers, the consumption of zinc (and other minerals effective in the treatment of PMS, such as iron, magnesium and calcium) can be done through food or through supplements.


In addition to iron and zinc, other studies have shown in the past that the consumption of calcium, magnesium,  vitamin B6  and essential fatty acids can help in the treatment of this condition that affects many women.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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