“I really want to have some chocolate right now, my period is coming!”
Do you find yourself reaching for a bag of chips or bars after bars of chocolates during your period? You're not alone. Many women experience food cravings before or during their menstrual cycle, AND these cravings can be difficult to resist just like that one more Netflix episode that you wanna watch.
What Are Menstrual Cravings?
Menstrual cravings are food cravings that occur before or during a woman's menstrual cycle. So that’s why you have certain cravings before or during your period! They are often associated with hormonal changes that happen during this time, particularly the ups and downs of estrogen and progesterone hormone in your body.
Chocolate, salty snacks, and carbohydrate-rich foods like bread and pasta are common staples for women during their menstrual cycle. Some women may also crave dairy products or red meat. Now, you may wanna ask why these foods.
Why Do Menstrual Cravings Happen?
There isn't a single answer to why menstrual cravings happen, but researchers believe that hormonal changes play a significant role. Estrogen and progesterone are hormones that fluctuate during a woman's period, and these changes can affect the levels of other hormones in the body, including insulin and serotonin.
Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels, and when insulin levels drop, it can lead to cravings for carbohydrate-rich food. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects mood and appetite, and low serotonin levels are associated with cravings for sugary or starchy foods.
You may notice that you’re in constant mood swings and that you are sometimes sleepy. Those are respectively signs of low serotonin and insulin.
How To Manage Menstrual Cravings
If you're struggling with menstrual cravings, there are a few things you can do to manage them:
- Eat a balanced diet: Make sure you're eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. This can help keep you full and reduce cravings.
- Plan ahead: If you know you're likely to have cravings during your period, get stocking up on healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, or plain yogurt. Be ready with your staples and know what your body needs!
- Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can disrupt hormone levels and increase cravings, so make sure you're getting enough rest.
- Consider supplements: Some supplements, such as magnesium or vitamin B6, may help reduce menstrual cravings. Talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.
All in all, menstrual cravings are normal for many women, and they can be difficult to manage, especially when you also have to deal with them not only physically but also mentally. By eating a balanced diet, planning, getting enough sleep, and considering supplements, you can reduce the impact of menstrual cravings on your overall health and well-being.
However, if you notice something else such as menstrual cramps, please go and check with professionals! Remember, period cravings are the common symptoms of the menstrual cycle, NOT menstrual cramps