Ah, PMS: that lovely time of the month where you hate all things, eat all things, and slowly want to curl into the fetal position and stay there 'til the storm passes. It's an unavoidably miserable time for most women, but according to the New York Times, a recent study suggests that your iron intake may be linked to the severity of your symptoms. Kale chips, sauteed spinach, or steak, anyone?
In the study, 1,057 women with PMS were evaluated and compared against 1,968 control subjects. The women self-reported their intake of food and supplements, and then their PMS symptoms (or lack thereof) were clinically diagnosed. While many minerals have connections to PMS symptoms, one of the most major correlations was found with iron: The women with the highest 20 percent of iron intake were 40 percent less likely to experience PMS symptoms.
Interestingly, the opposite was true with potassium: The women in the highest 20 percent of intake of this mineral were actually 46 percent more likely to experience PMS. But, don't go dropping your bananas and shoveling in handfuls of spinach just yet. The senior author of the story, Elizabeth R. Bertone-Johnson of the University of Massachussetts, argues that this study should simply encourage women to eat a balanced diet. Easier said than done, but we're happy to hear that our intake of leafy greens may have one more sneaky health benefit than we realized.
Photographed by Chris Baker