Iron to Relieve PMS Symptoms & Reduce Pain

By (biologist specialized in clinical & biomedical laboratory) and (fertility counselor).
Last Update: 01/23/2015

The premenstrual syndrome is all those symptoms that many women have in the days before having their period. The consumption of vegetables rich in iron could reduce the risks of developing the symptoms of this syndrome.

Provided below is an index with the 4 points we are going to expand on in this article.

Benefits of iron

Women who eat quite a lot of iron have 40% less risk of developing premenstrual syndrome symptoms in comparison with women who eat a lot of meat.

The studies carried out consisted on analysing the diet of three thousand women older than 10, and those who consumed more than 20 mg of iron daily had up to 40% less probability of developing the syndrome.

Women who consumed more than 20 mg iron per day decreased the risks of developing premenstrual syndrome. Those who consumed approximately 50 mg have even less symptoms.

Despite the results, the consumption of iron must be moderated, since more than 42 daily mg of iron has consequences for the human body.

The study also showed that most women obtained those high iron levels from other sources rather than meat. According to the study, only the iron from vegetable sources can significantly decrease the symptoms. When the sources of the iron are cow or poultry meat, it doesn’t have the same consequences.

Iron-rich foods

Knowing which vegetables are rich in iron will give you the option of consuming them:

  • Cacao
  • Pumpkin and sesame seeds
  • Cashew nuts, peanuts and hazelnuts
  • Thyme, basil, parsley, mint, cumin, oregano, coriander
  • Spinach
  • Dried apricots
  • Green beans
  • Lentils
  • Tofu
  • Raisins

Furthermore, vitamin C allows the body to take up the iron better. It’s advisable for women to eat fruits, such as kiwis, lemons, oranges and grapefruits.

Natural remedies

Many plants have compounds that help reduce the premenstrual symptoms. In fact, herbs have been used as natural remedies in Europe and Asia for a long time. For instance:

  • St John’s wort: it’s used in cases of mild depression, helps moderate bad mood and sadness that tend to go with PMS.
  • Evening primrose oil: the oil comes from the seeds of the plant and is rich in an essential fatty acid named gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Women with PMS may have a shortage of GLA, which could cause their symptoms. This oil is used to relieve pain in breasts, swelling, irritability, mood swings and anxiety related with PMS.
  • Chaste tree or Chasteberry: helps relieve the menstrual pain and the pain in breasts, since it regulates and normalises the blood irrigation and regulates the hormonal fluctuations.

Even though the results of the study are still being verified, the consumption of iron could be related with the production of serotonin, molecule that plays a role in many brain and body processes.

Severe premenstrual syndrome affects approximately 8%-15% of women and their symptoms are breasts sensitivity, depression, anxiety, abdominal bloating...

We make a great effort to provide you with the highest quality information.

🙏 Please share this article if you liked it. 💜💜 You help us continue!


 María Rodríguez Ramírez
María Rodríguez Ramírez
Biologist specialized in Clinical & Biomedical Laboratory
Bachelor's Degree in Biology and Postgraduate Degree in Clinical & Biomedical Laboratory by the University of Valencia (UV). Writer of scientific contents from the field of Biology and Human Reproduction. More information about María Rodríguez Ramírez
Adapted into english by:
 Sandra Fernández
Sandra Fernández
B.A., M.A.
Fertility Counselor
Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpreting (English, Spanish, Catalan, German) from the University of Valencia (UV) and Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus (Edinburgh, UK). Postgraduate Course in Legal Translation from the University of Valencia. Specialist in Medical Translation, with several years of experience in the field of Assisted Reproduction. More information about Sandra Fernández

Find the latest news on assisted reproduction in our channels.