Okay so since I did write previously about the ‘Four Phases of Woman’s Cycle’ and touched on each on separately I thought I would also talk about most annoying thing (or at least one of) and that is:
- 3 common PERIOD cravings
- Why we have them
- How to deal with them
- & what you should avoid before & during your period.
I personally don’t have intense cravings anymore! Since learning more about the 4 phases and the things a woman’s body goes through internally I’ve become more aware of my body’s needs and I learnt to simply give it what it NEEDS (not wants) from one phases to the next.. If none phases talk doesn’t makes since to you and you’re a woman who’s interested in this PERIOD talk go and check out my posts about the 4 phases!
Honestly this was one of the most interesting things I have come across last year, once I did learn more about the female body and how it works I’ve managed to get rid of most of PMS through the right diet, exercise, making sure I rest when my body needs it & simply just listen and be more in touch with my body’s needs!!!
Anyways if you have period cravings and you want to understand why it happens and how to deal with it in a healthy way keep reading 🙂
So, what are the most common food cravings?
- Common cravings: Sugar & carbs – such as starchy foods, pasta, bread & rice!
These are a sign of low serotonin & low blood sugar levels
Serotonin is the “feel good” chemical in the brain hence when levels are low we crave for sugars & carbs that’s because our body uses carbs to produce serotonin
- Common cravings: Chocolate – a very common one and one I am sure we all experienced!
It tastes good, feels good, and puts a smile on your face! However it doesn’t mean that your body NEEDS chocolate! If you are craving chocolate before & during your period this means that you are lacking in magnesium & iron
- Common cravings: Ice cream & rich desserts
Research have shown that woman may experience a low levels of calcium hence why some of us crave ice cream & rich desserts!
Okay let me assure you that I won’t ask you to avoid all your cravings! Because
- Let’s be honest sometimes that’s even worse & we end up binging anyways &
- Life is too damn short to not enjoy chocolate or ice cream every now and then 😉
But I will give you some tips to help handle those cravings & now that we understand the reasons behind it, what can we have instead as a healthy option 🙂
Let’s start with some tips to deal with Period cravings:
- If you crave carbs & sugar I would advise you to consume meals & snacks high complex carbs! Some of my favourites include: fruits, vegetables, beans, oatmeal, sweet potato & rice. Have them for breakfast, as it will take longer for your body to digest and so it will help you control cravings throughout the day.
& if you have complex carbs on an empty stomach it actually increases serotonin levels within an hour! Buckwheat I am coming for you 🙂
- If you crave sugar? Go for foods that contain natural sugar, such as fruits, juices & honey/maple syrup. These foods with complex carbs will help you balance your blood sugar levels & reduce your cravings.
- If you’re someone who craves chocolate aka lacking in magnesium, iron & fat – then the good news is that you CAN give in to your cravings and have some chocolate, since chocolates are high in magnesium, iron & fat!! However do try and choose high quality DARK chocolate which are usually higher in calories & fat or just make yourself a cup of hot chocolate & make sure that you consume in moderation! Last we want it that feeling of being fat to turns into being a reality!
However despite saying that it is good to remember that your chocolate cravings means your lacking in magnesium & iron, therefore take that into consideration & make sure you are consuming enough of these in your diet.
Magnesium is actually one of the vitamins that most people lack & ignore in their diet! Which actually also helps with constipation & bloating!
I personally always ensure that I am having enough, hence I often suffer from constipation & bloating! & my main source of magnesium is buckwheat and seeds (usually seed butter!! So yummy)
Other sources of Magnesium & iron include: beans: seeds, nuts, green vegetables & brown rice
& remember when you are menstruating you are actually losing iron and therefore you need to make up for it by making sure you consume more of these foods.
- Craving creamy rich foods aka calcium – well since I choose not to consume dairy & I don’t believe you need to consume dairy for stronger bones! I will give you my vegan alternatives, green leafy veggies (spinach, bok choy & kale), tofu, almond milk, soy milk, beans & grains.
- Practise mindful eating – now if your cravings are so intense then I would say got for that chocolate and skip the handful of almonds! Why? Because, if you’re like me I would probably finish the whole bags of almonds & then head for the chocolates! Which will just make us feel even worse…. So just go for the chocolate BUT be aware & present with the foods you are craving for, which you might get satisfied with less! Or you might even realise that’s not what your body actually needs.
- Exercise! Exercising is so good for you, it increases serotonin levels & a sweaty session will reduce your water retention which is a common symptom of PMS. However do listen to your body and pick the right exercises depending on which phase you are in! if you don’t know what I am talking about check out the four phases post where what kind of exercises you should do in each phase J
- & this is my favourite tip & the most important one – REST!!! Rest when your body is screaming for a break… this is usually the 1st few days of your period of it could be just the 1st Take the day (not necessarily off work) but of the gym, friends & doing anything that might not make you feel relaxed! Trust me doing this will ensure you have a smoother and blissful cycle when your period end.
& finally what are some of the things you need to avoid before & during your period?
- Limit caffeine – too much coffee, can cause irritability, increase cortisol (stress hormone) which can lead to more food cravings!
- Limit salt – which cause water retention & makes us feel even fatter!
- Limit alcohol – which often is a depressants & actually worsens our PMS
& here you have it ladies! I hope you enjoyed this post & found it helpful 🙂
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