Bad PMS Symptoms? Clinical Nutritionist Explains How Magnesium Can Help

Our BINTO supplements contain magnesium for stress support, as well as hormonal balance. So many women are lacking magnesium in their diets- alleviate the discomfort of your PMS with our BARE Essentials vitamin.


Written by Ashleigh Stewart, MSACN.


PMS. Those three irritating little letters.

Those three letters- standing for Premenstrual Syndrome- can have a variety of meanings, bring on waves of emotions, introduce a surge of cravings, and invite cramping or pain into the abdomen. But, do the few weeks before your period always have to look like this?


Throughout our cycles, we’re lucky enough to have the support of vitamin and mineral supplementation, nutrient dense foods, relaxation techniques and physical activity. Getting through the dreaded PMS is all about how we purposefully use these tools to assist our hormones and bodies during our cycles.


Why Magnesium Matters

To get through the roller coaster of PMS, there is one mineral that comes to mind that women should never go without...magnesium!

If you’re not familiar with magnesium, here are a few points stressing its importance:

  • Magnesium is a part of about 370 enzymatic reactions in the body regulating protein synthesis, ATP energy production, limiting inflammatory cytokines, muscle and nerve functions, blood glucose control and blood pressure management.


  • Magnesium is absorbed about 1 hour after ingestion throughout the entire intestinal tract. Selenium, vitamins B6 and D support absorption of magnesium. On the other hand, phytates, excess saturated fats, phosphorus and calcium hinder magnesium absorption.


  • Typically, symptoms of deficiency manifest in neurological or neuromuscular abnormalities. A deficiency in magnesium can present in depression, mood swings, migraines, anxiety, muscle weakness or cramping and brain fog.

Do any of those symptoms sound familiar?

Researchers have found that females who have experienced symptoms of PMS have clinically lower levels of magnesium. While the mechanism of action is not completely understood, studies has proven that magnesium is effective in reducing PMS symptoms. Increasing magnesium levels with supplements and food choices can support the neuromuscular system and promote relaxation throughout the body to eliminate PMS symptoms. Magnesium works to normalize the action of hormones (especially progesterone) on the central nervous system. In turn, this minimizes cramping, migraines, depression, and muscle weakness typically experienced during the premenstrual phase.


How can we get more magnesium in our diet?

Foods such as almonds, cashews, avocado, swiss chard, spinach, sunflower seeds, bananas, and broccoli are all rich sources of magnesium. Another source of magnesium that you may or may not be surprised to hear...dark chocolate! Magnesium is the predominant mineral found in the cocoa bean. No wonder we typically crave chocolate during PMS! Now we know there is some truth to our chocolate cravings around that time of the month.

*Increasing consumption of magnesium rich foods does not pose serious health risks as excess of the mineral that is not utilized in the body is filtered through the kidneys and excreted via urine.


Why do so many women have a magnesium deficiency and experience symptoms of PMS?

In today’s world, magnesium deficiency is so prevalent due to the lack of the minerals in our crop’s soil. Soil lacking magnesium leads to fruits and vegetables lacking magnesium and that leads to us lacking magnesium.

Certain lifestyle factors also contribute to a deficiency in magnesium. These factors include excessive alcohol, salt, caffeine and soft drink consumption, hyperthyroidism, chronic stress, inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal infection, sleep deprivation, and certain medications such as estrogens, antibiotics, antivirals, and proton pump inhibitors.

If you are experiencing symptoms of markedly low magnesium, it is recommended to check in with your healthcare professional and begin supplementing with the mineral as an adjunct to increasing your dietary intake.


Magnesium Rich Recipe

Below, I included one of my favorite recipes to boost magnesium intake, calm stress and anxiety, ease migraine pain, and relieve muscle cramping:

Cocoa-Chip Pudding

Serves 2

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 medium banana
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp cacao nibs, divided
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

* Add 1 cup of spinach for an extra magnesium boost of 24 mg

Add all the ingredients (except for ½ tbsp of cacao nibs) to your blender and blend until smooth. Chill mixture for at least 1 hour before serving. When ready to serve, top pudding with remaining cacao nibs and enjoy.



Ashleigh, a local to Philadelphia, is a graduate from the Masters of Applied Clinical Nutrition program at New York Chiropractic College. She currently works as a health coach for young students as she believes that longevity with a healthy lifestyle begins in early education. Through her own health issues and healing journey, she has seen how important nutrition and lifestyle choices are to women’s hormonal health. With a functional nutrition background, she sees the body as a whole component and looks to get to the underlying cause of any imbalance. She believes in consistently expanding her knowledge on women’s hormonal health and well-being and looks forward to sharing that knowledge with you.



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