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.
The different sections of this article have been assembled into the following table of contents.
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.
Knowing which vegetables are rich in iron will give you the option of consuming them:
- Pumpkin and sesame seeds
- Cashew nuts, peanuts and hazelnuts
- Thyme, basil, parsley, mint, cumin, oregano, coriander
- Dried apricots
- Green beans
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.
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…
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