If you’ve noticed that you have specific cravings before the start of your period, you’re not alone!
Just like cramps, food cravings are one of the main premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms associated with periods.
Why it Happens
A 2016 study shows that, during the premenstrual stage (or the luteal phase) of the menstrual cycle, changes in both estrogen and progesterone levels take place. These hormone level changes cause cravings for high-carbs and sweets before your period begins.
Basically, we can blame period cravings on the hormones.
Popular Period Cravings
Menstruators are likely familiar with cravings before periods. In fact, there are a few common period cravings menstruators experience as a symptom of PMS.
This one won’t be a shock to most. Research from PLOS ONE found that nearly 50% of those who menstruate in the US crave chocolate at the start of their period!
Although the researchers in the study suggest that this period craving may have cultural implications—allegedly, women from foreign countries craved chocolate during menstruation far less than first and second-generation Americans—there are also physical reasons for the craving: Chocolate, specifically cocoa, is very high in magnesium, which the body usually runs low on when you’re in the premenstrual phase of your cycle.
Salty Snacks 🍟
Craving something salty before or during your period? Salty snacks like chips and popcorn are go-to’s for many menstruators, and there are reasons why.
Clear Blue states that a sodium craving may be due to a serotonin deficiency. Another explanation? You could just be really thirsty! Changes in thirst are in fact a PMS symptom, and some menstruators crave salt when they’re feeling dehydrated.
Carbs, Carbs and More Carbs 🍕
Whether it’s a slice of pizza or a bowl of pasta, foods rich in carbohydrates can provide a sense of comfort during one’s period.
Serotonin, a hormone produced in the center of the brainstem, can boost your mood. Garden OB/GYN proposes that foods rich in carbs can actually help increase serotonin levels in the brain!
What period cravings do YOU have that we missed? Be sure to let us know by tagging us on social @goauntflow.