PMS tamer

How it helps

Where to find it

Recommended supplement dose

Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

Relieves indigestion and nausea; serves as an antispasmodic for menstrual cramps; acts as a mild sedative

In tea made from chamomile flower heads

Three cups of chamomile tea/day, during times of upset

Evening primrose oil (Oenothera biennis)

May decrease breast pain and fluid retention

In supplement form

2,000–3,000 mg/day

Magnesium

Relieves muscle spasms (cramps); promotes proper heart function and energy production

Lima beans, tofu, raspberries, almonds, Swiss chard; also available in supplement form

310 mg/day for women 19 to 30; 320 mg/day for women over 30

Omega-3 fatty acids made of two fatty acids, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)

Relieves menstrual cramps; decreases reliance on synthetic remedies, such as NSAIDs; increases concentration

Fish (salmon, sardines, tuna, herring, halibut), flaxseed and flaxseed oil, walnuts, leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale); also available in fish-oil supplements

Look for capsules that contain 1,000 mg EPA and 700 mg DHA; take with 400 IU of vitamin E to maximize absorption

Potassium

Fights fatigue by helping send oxygen to the brain to maintain alertness and cognitive functioning

Apricots, black beans, lentils, dried fruits, cherries, winter squash, beet greens; also available in supplement form

100 mg/day

Tyrosine

Elevates mood and increases concentration

Cheddar cheese, low-fat cottage cheese, almonds, soy milk, beans, peas; also available in supplement form

750 mg/day

—B.F.