Feeling extra cranky once a month could be a sign that you’re not getting enough of a nutrient: iron. Many women are low in iron and a shortfall may interfere with serotonin production, which can contribute to mood swings and PMS-related pain. According to a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology women who get the most iron from plant-based sources are up to 40 percent less likely to have PMS than those who consume the least.
I’m actually not the biggest fan of red meat. For 7 years I stayed away from red meat, so I can understand if you prefer white meats such as chicken, turkey or fish. Having that said, my rule of thumb is to eat red meat at least once a week. When it’s “that time of the month”, we need to boost our bodies with iron and zinc.
I believe in consuming the minerals in the most natural way as possible. Having red meat (organic/grass fed) every now and then will hopefully give you that boost of iron and zinc that you need.
If you are a vegetarian, you need to include plenty of iron-rich foods in your diet, such as:
Grains/seeds: buckwheat, oats, pumpkin seeds, quinoa.
Legumes: lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans.
Vegetables: spinach, asparagus, broccoli, kale.
Nuts: cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts.
Dried fruits: apricots, raisins, dates, prunes.
To maximize iron absorption, eat foods rich in vitamin C at the same time you eat the food containing iron. And remember that both coffee and tea consumption can significantly decrease iron absorption. Avoid these beverages at least for an hour or so before and after meals to minimize the effect.
Now, go get that steak!