A large Columbia University study found that PMS sufferers who took 1,200 mg of calcium per day noted an almost 50 percent reduction in symptoms like cramps, bloating, cravings and irritability. (This study supported earlier research suggesting calcium may be an effective treatment for PMS.) Our bodies can only absorb about 500 to 600 mg of calcium at a time, so take your first dose early in the day.
Best bet: Low-fat milk (8 ounces has 300 mg calcium) with bran cereal. Look for a brand fortified with stress-reducing magnesium and folic acid as well as iron, which was recently found to be associated with a 30 to 40 percent lower likelihood of PMS by a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.