cerealQuick question: Are you one of the lucky ladies who looks around at other women suffering from premenstrual blues, anxiety, discomfort and other woes in the last week of their monthly cycle–then you count your blessings that you don’t have premenstrual syndrome (PMS) yourself?

If you answered “yes”, then listen up: While you may not have PMS now, you could still develop it later in life.

That’s because lifestyle factors (such as diet, stress and exercise) and your sensitivity to hormones can change as the years go by. And one day you, too, could be knee deep in Twinkies, tear-soaked tissues and an endless loop of Bridgette Jones running on your DVD player.

The good news? A 2011 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals an easy way for women who are free of PMS right now to lower their risk of developing it in the future:

Eat two to three daily servings of foods rich in vitamin B1 (thiamin)–such as fortified cereal, sunflower seeds, beans, green peas, asparagus and oats–totaling 1.9 mg. of the nutrient. This lowers your risk of developing PMS by 25% compared to women who eat fewer of these foods.

Or eat one to two servings of cereal fortified with vitamin B2 (riboflavin) or other foods that contain it–such as soybeans, spinach, almonds, eggs and yogurt–totaling 2.5 mg. of this nutrient. This lowers your risk of developing PMS by 35% compared to women who eat fewer of these foods.

Why do they work? Vitamins B1 and B2 help regulate brain chemicals that affect mood and pain sensitivity, such as serotonin and GABA–which get out of whack due to plunging estrogen in your premenstrual Week 4.

Not a fan of foods rich in B1 and B2? While the researchers of this study felt that food sources may enhance the PMS-thwarting effect due to other nutrients they contain, they suggest that supplementation would probably have a similar effect as food.

Already suffer from monthly PMS? The researchers suggest loading up on these Bs could help you, too. And here are a whole bunch of other vitamins and herbs that are study-proven to help ease your premenstrual woes.

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