Supplements for Hormones

PMS (premenstrual syndrome) affects women in different ways, however, common PMS symptoms include low mood, weight gain, bloating and sometimes acne, that often occur in the week before menstruation, due to hormonal changes during this time. PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is another hormone-related condition that affects reproductive-age women, involving problems with blood sugar management, abnormal hormone levels, and chronic low-grade inflammation. Symptoms of PCOS include hair loss, hirsutism, pelvic pain, weight gain, acne, irregular menses, infertility and high levels of testosterone.

Fortunately, both of these conditions can benefit from dietary and lifestyle changes, to support healthy hormone balance.

Key Foods for PMS and PCOS

Whilst PMS and PCOS are different conditions, the following foods can be helpful. Tryptophan is essential for the synthesis of Serotonin, the ‘happy hormone’ and magnesium is crucial for over 300 chemical reactions in the body and supports a calm and healthy nervous system. Both of these nutrients can be beneficial for PMS and PCOS. Including fibre and complex carbohydrates helps to control blood sugar levels and supports the elimination of excess or used hormones from the body to promote hormone balance. Oily fish is also rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids which are particularly important for PCOS as inflammation can be a driving factor in this condition. Reducing inflammation may also help to reduce depressive symptoms associated with PMS.

  • Tryptophan-rich foods - chicken, turkey, beef, pork, tofu, salmon, tuna, cod, beans, lentils, cow’s milk, pumpkin seeds and eggs (combine with carbohydrate foods for optimal absorption).
  • Magnesium - dark leafy greens, beans, nuts, seeds, cocoa, brown rice, avocados and bananas.
  • Fibre - fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds, legumes, oats, brown rice.
  • Complex carbohydrates - brown rice, oats, quinoa, buckwheat, apples, peas, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, wholewheat pasta.
  • Oily fish - salmon, mackerel, herring, trout, anchovies or hemp seed oil, walnuts and flaxseeds for your omega-3 fats if you’re vegan or vegetarian.

Which Supplements Can Support PMS and PCOS?

  1. Magnesium
  2. Inositol
  3. Tryptophan
  4. Omega-3 fatty acids

Top Tips on Buying Supplements for PMS and PCOS

  • Magnesium glycinate and magnesium citrate are the most bioavailable forms of magnesium, either in powder or capsule form.
  • Do not take tryptophan supplements if you are on antidepressant medications due to the risk of serotonin syndrome which can be fatal.
  • You can supplement with either a fish oil supplement for omega-3 or if you prefer, a vegan source of omega-3, look for supplements derived from algae oil.

Nutritional Therapy Support For PMS and PCOS

Work with a registered Nutritional Therapist for a personalised nutrition and diet plan, tailored to your specific health requirements. For one-to-one support with PMS and PCOS, and to book a consultation, head over to our expert page here:

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