Period Cravings: What do they mean and How to Control Them!
Are you familiar with those insatiable period cravings that seem to hijack your senses during your period? Let me tell you something. You’re not alone. Many women experience this kind of intense desire for some specific food during their periods.
But why does craving happen? What is your body trying to tell you through these cravings? and last but not least, how can you regain control over them? Have you asked yourself this kind of question or discussed it with anybody?
In this article, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of period cravings, exploring the reasons behind them and what they may reveal about your body’s needs. Not only that, we’ll also learn some practical tips to help you manage and conquer those tempting cravings during periods. So, let’s dive in and decode the mysteries of period cravings.
Reasons Why Period Cravings Happen
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of period cravings, let’s take a moment to understand why they occur in the first place.
“JUST BLAME YOUR HORMONES.”
According to a study, the craving during periods happens due to fluctuations in the level of estrogen and progesterone hormones that cause this craving for high-carb and sweet food before and during your periods. If you see, there are several factors that play a role:
We now know that the menstrual cycle is a complex interplay of hormones, and as your hormone levels shift, so do your mood and appetite. Estrogen and progesterone, in particular, can influence your cravings. These fluctuations act like a magnet that attracts you towards eating food that comforts these hormones. These cravings create hormonal imbalances that result in PMS, and sometimes excessive hormonal imbalance can also cause painful periods.
Serotonin is a chemical that enhances your feeling of happiness. Your brain’s feel-good chemical, serotonin, can take a dip during your period, making you more inclined to seek out comfort foods. Thus, when you eat such junk food during periods like sweet or starchy food, serotonin is released from your body that makes you feel happy, however impulsive eating of these foods is considered as a sign of PMS.
Blood Sugar Swings
Hormonal changes before and during periods can also affect your blood sugar levels, leading to cravings for sugary or carbohydrate-rich foods. Remember, it is hard but you can always opt for a better option and that is having healthy period snacks like yogurt, dark chocolate, citrus fruits, herbal tea, etc.
Sometimes, your body craves specific foods because it’s lacking essential nutrients. For example, a hankering for red meat may indicate an iron deficiency.
Remember, you are strong thus don’t let these hormones control your body and mood. As discussed, if not kept in control then they can lead to painful periods. However, if you feel menstrual cramps try some home remedies like a heating pad, massages with essential oils, try period pain relief device that basically a small TENS device that helps to eliminate these cramps naturally, try out herbal tea like chamomile tea, mix herbs tea, try to do some exercise, etc.
Now that we have a better understanding of why period cravings happen, let’s move on to what these cravings might be trying to communicate and learn some healthy period snack options for these sugary and unhealthy cravings.
What Your Period Cravings Tell You?
Cravings during your period can vary widely from person to person, but there are some common patterns that may shed light on your body’s needs. Let’s explore a few of these cravings and what they could be telling you.
Chocoholics, take a note! Craving chocolate during your periods might be your body’s way of seeking comfort. As discussed above, your body releases serotonin, and chocolate contains compounds that can boost serotonin levels, that temporarily improve your mood. But sweet and sugary chocolates are not a good option as it can be a sign of PMS. Hence, make a healthier choice by opting for dark chocolate with higher cocoa content and it also contains less or no sugar which can help you to balance your hormones.
If during your periods you are dying to get yourself a cheesy slice of pizza, then it could be due to the combination of carbohydrates and fat that provide a quick energy boost. Instead of indulging in greasy fast food, consider making a homemade, whole-grain pizza with plenty of leafy vegetables for a healthier alternative.
Craving salty snacks like chips or pretzels? Sodium cravings may indicate dehydration, as sodium helps your body retain water. Stay hydrated with water-rich foods like cucumber and watermelon, and reach for unsalted nuts if you need a crunchy snack.
Craving Orange Juice
If your taste buds are calling for citrusy goodness, your body might be telling you it needs a vitamin C boost. Oranges and other citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which can help combat fatigue and boost your immune system.
The sweet tooth strikes again! Sugar cravings are common during your periods due to fluctuating blood sugar levels. Instead of reaching for candy or soda, try to satisfy your sweet cravings with natural alternatives like fresh fruit, juice, or yogurt with honey. If you crave more sugar try having dates along with dark chocolate that can help you balance your sugar cravings.
It’s important to listen to your body and choose nutritious and healthy snack options when indulging your period cravings. We learned about the cravings and along with that we have tried to provide a healthy period food cravings list that can balance your hormones and you can replace this period’s snacks with our suggested options instead of going for unhealthy options. Now, let’s explore some strategies to help you gain control over these urges.
How to Control Your Period Cravings?
Managing your period cravings doesn’t have to feel like an uphill battle. Here are some effective strategies to help you keep those period cravings in check:
Boost Your Magnesium
Magnesium can work wonders in reducing period cravings. Foods like leafy greens, nuts, and seeds like pumpkin are rich in magnesium and can even help to stabilize your mood and cravings during periods. Consider adding them to your daily diet throughout your menstrual cycle.
Move your Body
Regular physical activity can help regulate your hormones and reduce cravings. Hence, start engaging yourself in activities that you enjoy, whether it’s yoga, jogging, or dancing. Exercise not only improves your mood but also curbs those pesky cravings.
Don’t Miss Your Carbs
Complex carbohydrates like whole grains, oats, and brown rice can provide a steady release of energy and help stabilize your blood sugar levels. Include these in your meals as they can prevent sugar cravings and mood swings during menstruation.
Don’t Bounce Over Your Meals
Skipping your meals can wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels and intensify these cravings. Thus, make sure to eat regular, balanced meals to keep your hunger and cravings in check.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Starting your day with a nutritious breakfast is essential. It kick-starts your metabolism and sets a positive tone for the day, making it less likely that you’ll succumb to unhealthy cravings later on.
Period cravings are a common and natural part of the menstrual cycle, influenced by hormonal fluctuations, serotonin levels, and nutrient needs. Understanding the reasons behind your cravings can help you make healthier choices during your period. By opting for nutritious alternatives and implementing strategies like increasing magnesium intake, staying active, and maintaining a balanced diet, you can regain control over your period cravings and feel more in tune with your body’s needs. So, the next time your period cravings strike, remember that you have the knowledge and tools to conquer them, leaving you feeling more balanced and in control during that time of the month.
FAQ Regarding Late Periods or Delayed Periods
1. How do I stop my period from craving?
If you want to stop period cravings, then try a balanced diet with fiber, protein, leafy vegetables, and stay hydrated. Try to opt for small but frequent meals that can help you stabilize your sugar levels. Further, you should try to avoid caffeine, sugary snacks, and processed foods.
2. Why do I crave so much on my period?
Hormonal fluctuations, like increased levels of progesterone and serotonin can lead to cravings for comfort foods and sweet food during your period, aiming to boost mood and relieve discomfort.
What are common period cravings?
During menstruation, typical cravings often involve chocolate, sugary treats, salty snacks, and some comforting food such as ice cream, influenced by hormonal shifts and emotional variations.