The truth about food cravings while on your period

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When aunt Flo comes around many women handle it differently. There are women who suffer from chronic period pain, irritability, sensitivity or even get constant food cravings. While many have believed that food cravings during this time are a myth, Kotex®  along with their expert health educator and midwife- Sister Burgie Ireland, gives us the real story.

The food cravings women get are centered on comfort food specifically sweet treats or savoury fatty foods which are less likely related to diet and more likely coupled with hormones such as the stress hormone- cortisol and the happiness hormone- serotonin.

When a period begins cortisol levels rise while serotonin levels drop, the drop in these happiness levels then cause the cravings for sugary and fatty food. These foods create comfort for the body which then boost the serotonin levels back to normal and this process is why women get these cravings during that time of the month.

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Ireland gives us her top tips for curbing these cravings: 

  • It’s okay to indulge moderately in cravings during a period e.g. there are benefits to eating dark chocolate: it contains minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium and sugar for energy
  • Start a daily exercise programme – ideally in the sunshine for vitamin D
  • Get enough sleep to boost your serotonin levels
  • Take a pro-biotic if you have digestive problems to rekindle good bowel bacteria
  • Eliminate processed foods, caffeine and refined carbs the week before your period starts
  • Start your day with a protein packed breakfast
  • Snack on fresh fruits and raw vegetables during the day
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So no you are not losing your mind, these cravings are a real thing but making healthier food choices while on your period will help satisfy the cravings.