Bloated, weeping, or craving chocolate? You’re not alone. On average, a woman menstruates for about seven years during their lifetime. Unfortunately, many girls don’t have a complete or accurate understanding of menstruation. For example, why do period cravings happen?
Read on to find out! Learning more about PMS cravings can help you determine the best methods for managing them.
Learn more about dealing with cravings today!
Why It Happens
First, let’s cover the basics. What are period cravings?
A PMS craving can trigger a ravenous appetite before or during your period. You might start craving baked goods, chocolatey treats, or salty snacks; all carbs. Many women experience food cravings during the week before their period starts.
It’s a normal PMS symptom that occurs due to fluctuating hormones and serotonin levels during a woman’s cycle.
When your hormones fluctuate, your blood sugar levels can drop, triggering your cravings!
Serotonin is the “feel good” chemical we associate with a happy mood. Serotonin levels tend to drop when we’re on our periods. As a result, women experience cravings for carbohydrates and sugar.
The body uses these carbs to produce serotonin naturally.
PMS cravings can also occur due to:
- Irregular periods (leading to binge eating)
- Mood swings
- Vitamin or mineral deficiencies
According to this study, estradiol (a form of estrogen) is connected to our carb cravings, too. Meanwhile, progesterone is associated with cravings for sugary beverages.
Food cravings and compulsive eating before a period might also indicate you have premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). PMDD is a more severe form of PMS.
Don’t worry; intense food cravings don’t always indicate you’re pregnant. Both PMS and pregnancy can trigger intense or even strange food cravings. However, pregnant women might also experience symptoms that aren’t due to PMS, such as:
- Intense nausea
- A missed period
- Nipple changes
- Food aversions
Food aversions are normal if you’re pregnant, but not if you’re experiencing PMS.
If these symptoms sound familiar, consider consulting a doctor or taking a pregnancy test.
When Do Cravings Start?
You might experience period-related cravings between seven and 10 days before the start of your period. This timeframe is also when other PMS symptoms start, including:
- Bowel changes
Your PMS cravings should subside once your period starts.
It’s okay to indulge a little. However, try to listen to your body as much as possible. Certain cravings could indicate your body needs more calories or certain vitamins.
Try to avoid overindulging on a daily basis. Still, if your body is begging for a certain food, don’t beat yourself up over a small snack!
If the foods you crave tend to make you feel worse, don’t worry; it’s normal to feel bad after eating foods high in refined sugar, salt, or carbs. Try swapping some of your go-to cravings with healthier alternatives. You can also limit your portions.
Here are a few tips that can help you manage your PMS cravings.
Choose Complex Carbs
Instead of chips and cookies, choose fiber-rich foods like:
- Whole grain bread
These foods can help keep your blood sugar levels even. They could help minimize your food cravings and mood swings, too.
When choosing whole grain products, look for enriched products that are high in B vitamins, riboflavin, and thiamine. These compounds can help minimize your PMS symptoms. Examples include beans, lentils, brown rice, and barley.
Boost Magnesium Levels
If you crave chocolate before your period, it’s likely your magnesium levels are low. While chocolate is high in magnesium, it’s usually high in fat as well. Instead, try:
- Dark, leafy greens (spinach, kale, etc.)
- Almonds, cashews, or peanuts
- Peanut butter
- Whole grains
If you’re unable to fend off your craving for chocolate, reach for dark chocolate instead.
Work Up a Sweat
Exercising can get your heart pumping, which could help increase your serotonin levels. Naturally boosting your serotonin levels might help minimize cravings. It could also relieve depression, fatigue, and other PMS symptoms.
Try going for a brisk walk. You can also increase your heart rate and lung function by swimming, bicycling, or running.
Dedicate 30 minutes of your day to working up a sweat!
Shrink Your Plate
Try to eat six small meals throughout the day. Small, frequent meals could keep your blood sugar levels stable.
If you’re unable to schedule time for six small meals, aim for three small meals and three light snacks instead.
Give your body the chance to absorb a little sunlight. Basking in the sun can help your body naturally produce serotonin. If you tend to stay inside all day, your serotonin levels might drop, leading to cravings.
Don’t forget to apply sunscreen first!
If you’re still not feeling your best during your period, consider drinking Mamma Chick. This PMS formula contains:
- Vitamins B6 and B12
- Chasteberry fruit extract
- Omega 6
- Magnesium glycinate
- Calcium citrate
Vitamins B6 and B12 help regulate brain neurotransmitters. They can help the body recalibrate when you experience PMS symptoms.
Chasteberry is a medieval herb that combats most PMS symptoms (acne, headaches, mood swings, etc.). It also helps balance estrogen and progesterone levels to calm your hormones.
Omega 6 is a fatty acid that can reduce headaches, depression, irritability, and bloating.
Meanwhile, calcium citrate plays a part in regulating anxiety, depression, and other emotional changes.
Folate (a B vitamin) plays a part in the production and maintenance of cells. It also benefits hair growth, skin, anemia, and red blood cell health.
Finally, magnesium glycinate can calm your mood while reducing fatigue, headaches, and bloating.
Start Managing Your Period Cravings Today
Don’t let your period cravings impact your routine or health. Instead, use these easy tips for dealing with cravings. Make sure your body has the vitamins and minerals it needs, too!
Want to find all the vitamins and minerals you need in one easy, convenient place? We have exactly what you need!
Explore our store today to experience the benefits of using Mamma Chick’s formula firsthand!