Period cravings are NO joke! They can be extremely overwhelming, and their intensity next level. They’ll have you craving the strangest food combinations at the oddest hours, and doing whatever it takes to have your cravings satisfied. But, what causes period cravings in the first place and are there ways to manage it? This is what we’re discussing today!
The cause of period cravings:
For starters, it’s got to do with your hormones. Changes in the levels of progesterone and estrogen trigger cravings for something sweet and food that’s high in carbs. These hormonal changes take place about 7-10 days before your period starts, which is why the cravings kick in before your period begins.
Another reason behind period cravings is that it could actually help with alleviating PMS symptoms. Yes, that’s right! PMS usually causes irritability, anxiety, frustration, mood swings and sadness. By eating foods that you enjoy (even though in much larger quantities) it releases the feel-good hormone serotonin which helps you feel a bit better when experiencing PMS symptoms.
How to manage your cravings:
Firstly, don’t fight the cravings, it’ll only make it worse. If you would like to better manage your cravings and make better choices, the best thing to do is to identify healthier options that will not only satisfy the craving but also support your body. Include more carbohydrate-rich foods into your diet like beans, lentils and pasta. By eating high-carb foods it can also lessen the craving for sweet things because carbs increases blood sugar levels. If you’re craving something chocolatey it’s most likely because your magnesium levels are low. So, eating dark leafy vegetables like spinach and whole grains can help with this, alternatively dark chocolate is a healthier chocolate option.
Period cravings are normal. For some, it’s easier to manage because their cravings aren’t as intense, and for others (like most of us) the cravings are like an itch that needs to be scratched. It’s important not to shame yourself about your cravings or giving into them. It wont make it any easier. If you can, slowly try to incorporate food and snack options that are more supportive for your body and its hormones. If you have a nutrient deficiency you will feel it A LOT more when the PMS cravings hit. For example, if you’re deficient in Magnesium, your craving for chocolate will be almost unbearable when PMS starts. So, by taking care of your body and its nutritional needs consistently the cravings you experience during PMS won’t be as bad.