Premenstrual syndrome, known more commonly as PMS, can be used to describe a broad range of symptoms related to the menstrual cycle. These symptoms can be emotional or physical and can manifest themselves in a variety of ways. In any case, if you’re a woman who’s had her period, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced some of the negative effects of PMS.

I meet so many women who suffer terribly from PMS. It’s believed to be directly hormone-related and very much affected by nutrition and lifestyle. Common symptoms include acne, fatigue, irritability, bloating, confusion, mood swings, breast tenderness, fluid retention, cravings, anxiety, and weight gain. PMS can be debilitating, affecting lifestyle, work-life, education, relationships, and daily routines.

The good news is that through optimum nutrition and some lifestyle changes, PMS symptoms can be relieved.

Here are nine tips to help you the next time PMS symptoms knock you out.


  1. Cut back on refined sugar, salt, caffeine (coffee, tea, and soft drinks), dairy, and alcohol.

These are all inflammatory in the body and worsen PMS symptoms.

  1. Eat more fatty acids.

Nuts, seeds, fish, or potent supplement (get help from your nutritionist on the supplement) are healthy sources of fatty acids, which have an anti-inflammatory effect.

  1. Increase fiber— fruit, veggies, legumes, seeds, and grains.

Fiber can help with cravings, balance hormones, and absorbs the excess estrogen in the gut- preventing it from going into the blood and causing inflammation.

  1. Don’t be afraid of carbs — just stick to the good ones! 

Cut out all white and refined carbs and choose whole grain, quinoa, legumes, oats, or brown rice instead!

  1. Add phytoestrogens to your daily diet. 

Phytoestrogens can be found in beans, peas, legumes, flaxseeds, and can have a hormonal balancing effect.

  1. Increase calcium and magnesium consumption. 

Great sources of calcium and magnesium are nuts, seeds, and dark, leafy greens! Or, you can invest in a supplement form.

  1. Up your intake of broccoli and cauliflower. 

 These cruciferous veggies sweep out excess estrogen.

  1. Make sure to include protein with each meal.

 Consuming protein — and snacking smartly — can help you beat cravings.

  1. Supplements to consider with assistance from your nutritionist:

Primrose oil, fish oil (essential fatty acids), B-complex, vitamins E and C, and magnesium.



Jessica Sepel

Jessica Sepel (BHlth, Adv Dip Nutritional Medicine) is a clinical nutritionist, bestselling health author and international health blogger. She is the beloved voice behind the 'JSHealth' brand and one of Australia's most sought after health and wellness advocates, encouraging a balanced lifestyle filled with delicious and nourishing wholefoods and recipes. Jess is the author or two best-selling books, where she shares her health philosophy and favourite recipes, and the creator of the JSHealth Program, an 8-week online plan to quit diets forever, find a balanced weight and live the healthy life.