Ever wonder why you crave salty chips, or sweet chocolate treats in the days leading up to your period? Well, one word for you… hormones. That’s right, hormones are the reason behind these intense cravings. Food cravings are one of the most common symptoms in women experiencing PMS or even pregnancy because it is hormone driven.
PMS causes the hormone cortisol – the bodies stress hormone – to sky rocket and serotonin – the bodies feel good hormone – to take a plunge. Doctor Carolyn Dean says “this change makes your body crave foods packed with sugar and fat because they help increase the levels of serotonin and fight cortisol production, making you feel better and happier”. Long story short you can attribute your food cravings and appetite to the fluctuation of hormones due to you period.
The good news is that you if you are one of the many American women who crave chocolate both before and during your period, it isn’t necessarily bad. Some chocolate such as dark chocolate can have beneficial ingredients, that can help your period. ModiBodi says that if you eat dark chocolate it can improve mood swings, cramps, and iron levels throughout the duration of your period. It will boost your mood and energy levels similar to a coffee without the crash.
LiveStrong says that roughly three out of four women experience PMS and craving salty foods is one of those symptoms. Amy Shapiro a dietitian says that “craving salt during PMS is a real thing due to the hormonal shifts and fluctuations”. It is reported that if you try and lessen the salt intake the weeks leading up to your period it could have a positive effect on your cravings for salt. Cleveland Clinic also says reducing your salt intake can help lessen bloating and breast tenderness associated with your period. You can enjoy your salty chips and french fries but remember to incorporate healthy foods for a well balanced diet.
Overall, every women is different and so is their period. Embrace your unique period and symptoms and learn how to listen to your body and its needs!