According to statistics 80 percent of menstruating women experience so called “premenstrual syndrome” or simply PMS, and 65 percent of them experience food cravings as one of its symptoms. PMS food cravings are a desire to consume different, sometimes unusual for a woman, types of food, which can reduce to zero all attempts to lead a healthy way of life and to maintain healthy food habits. The foods women usually crave are directly connected with their hormones instability. Most often women crave sweet food containing fat or, on the contrary, salty food, or some other kinds of junk food.
The maim idea, why every month before the period millions of women feel crazy cravings for some types of food, is women’s hormones. Levels of estrogen and stress hormone cortisol fluctuate but organism ‘wants’ them to stay even, which makes woman to crave fat and carbohydrates. One more thing is that our body really needs serotonin – a hormone of pleasure and contentment and this necessity becomes much stronger during premenstrual period. And certainly food, especially sweet one, is one of the things that can give women feeling of contentment and joy of life, which will raise the quantity of serotonin in the body.
Actually there are many theories about PMS food cravings reasons, but there also many ways to fight them. First of all, you should know that female metabolism increases during women premenstrual period and a woman’s organism can burn 100 additional calories a day – so maybe your cravings aren’t so critical and you shouldn’t worry at all.
If you still see a problem the next tips are for you:
If your body needs serotonin, remember that exercise also increase serotonin. Even if you feel not very well try at least to walk a bit and you’ll see the results. Lack of sunshine and fresh air also reduces serotonin levels – go outside, enjoy what is around you – and you‘ll certainly feel much better.
The more stress you have the worse cravings you experience. So try not to stress out a lot. If you can’t, so try some relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation. Feeling calm and relaxed will help you to avoid snack attacks.
You organism may need additional magnesium during PMS, so when you have beans, sunflower seeds, peanut butter or almond cravings you just get the magnesium you need. Chocolate is also rich in magnesium, so if you want some chocolate feel free to take a piece, but don’t forget that together with magnesium chocolate also contains lots of fat, so if you really need it, eat dark chocolate which is less fatty than milk one.
During the period of PMS your body may also need protein and complex carbs. Complex carbs are fiber rich foods for example whole grain breads and cereals, fruit and starchy veggies. To get necessary proteins eat eggs, fish, chicken and turkey. Protein will help you not to feel hunger by controlling blood sugar imbalances.
Mostly cravings occur when you are hungry, so not to want to eat you should eat more often but less. Plan your meals during the day to eat a mini meal each 3 hours and this will help you to control hunger and as a result your food cravings.