The Mineral That Fights PMS


Women who eat foods rich in one specific mineral are 30 percent to 40 percent less likely to develop pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), according to researchers in Massachusetts.

Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences and Harvard have found that if women eat meals rich in iron, their risk of PMS drops significantly.

“We found that women who consumed the most non-heme iron, the form found primarily in plant foods and in supplements, had a 30 to 40 percent lower risk of developing PMS than women who consumed the lowest amount of non-heme iron,” says researcher Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson. “We also saw some indication that high intake of zinc was associated with lower risk. In contrast, we were somewhat surprised to find that women consuming the highest amount of potassium had a higher risk of being diagnosed with PMS than women consuming the lowest amount of potassium. In general, results for mineral from food sources and minerals from supplements were similar.”

Vegetarian foods rich in non-heme iron include: pumpkin seeds, quinoa, spirulina, spinach, tomato sauce, prunes, molasses, white beans and lentils.

Intake of other minerals, including magnesium, copper, sodium and manganese, were not associated with PMS risk, the researchers point out.

Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.