At least 85 percent of menstruating women suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS)—a series of physical and psychological symptoms occurring before and during a woman’s menstrual cycle. These monthly hormonal changes can cause symptoms such as irritability, water retention, headaches and back pain. But you can better manage these conditions by eating the right foods and avoiding those that may trigger symptoms.

For example, alleviate PMS irritability with calcium-containing foods, such as yogurt and cheese. And eat raw nuts, bananas, poultry and fish to help relieve bloating and tiredness, advises Paola Mora, a registered dietician at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. But on the flip side, Mora recommends steering clear of caffeine, alcohol, fatty foods and refined sugar. Why? Because these ingredients can aggravate PMS-related symptoms.

What’s the best PMS relief meal plan? Mora offers this simple recipe: A balanced diet coupled with exercise and rest.