Iron-rich diets could help fight PMS symptoms

Baby spinach is shown in this AP file image. (AP)

February 26, 2013 5:37:42 PM PST
An iron-rich diet might help women fight the effects of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

A new study from the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that diets with iron plant-based sources are about 1/3 less likely to develop PMS than women who ate a normal diet.

Women in the study who ingested more than 20mg of iron per day reported less bloating, irritability and depression before getting their periods.

Women would only have to eat about 1 cup of iron-fortified cereal to get the same benefits.

Other iron-rich foods to consider include dark leafy green vegetables, beans, egg yolks, shellfish and red meat.

Higher levels of zinc were also found to reduce PMS symptoms over the study’s 10-year testing period.

Researchers aren’t exactly sure why iron reduces PMS symptoms, but some think that the mineral helps produce serotonin, which helps regulate moods.