Food cravings during or before periods? Worry not, we’ve got you covered with a healthier list of substitutes. No matter where we are in our cycles, healthy snacks are always the best bet to satisfy that rumbling in the tummy!
Let’s start with the basics first: why do we get cravings?
A study suggested that fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone lead to high-carb and sweet food cravings before your period.
The release of serotonin in our body on eating sweet and starchy foods gives us a jolt of happiness - however short-lived it may be. At the end of the day, something sugary can leave us feeling even worse than before - quite opposite of what we wanted it to do, is it not?
What are the best snack choices?
No matter when and where, we all feel the need to nibble on something unhealthy every once in a while. Is it okay to indulge? As tempting as it may be to indulge in something sweet or salty, it’s always better to switch to healthier alternatives when we’re PMS’ing or are on our periods.
- Dark Chocolate
To satisfy your cravings for something sweet, try opting for dark chocolate or fresh fruits. Dark chocolate which is high in cocoa bean, has large amounts of magnesium, iron and potassium which is great for lifting our mood.
A 100 g serving of good quality dark chocolate (70-85% cocoa solids) has almost 11.9 mg of iron. It also contains about 598 calories - so don’t over indulge!
With a high content of vitamin B6, potassium and magnesium, banana is a great food for boosting your mood and keeping those horrid mood swings away. Along with that, it also helps in digestion.
- Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, melons and watermelons are rich in Vitamin C, which aid in iron absorption. They are great sources of natural, healthy sugars and give that much needed glow to your skin and hair.
Half an avocado a day might even help to keep the cramps at bay!
While many of us may not love Avocado, it is indeed a great source healthy fats, fibre, magnesium, potassium and vitamins E and B6 which help balance our hormones.
The next time you’re feeling hungry and feel like switching to healthier alternatives; try out crushed avocado spread over a piece of toast with some salt and black pepper sprinkled over it for that extra pinch of taste.
- Spinach and Broccoli
Spinach and broccoli are rich in fibre and magnesium which will not only help you curb your cravings but also give you a much needed energy boost.
- Hummus with Crackers
Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Well you’ll be surprised to know how easy it is to make hummus and what a filling meal it can turn into.
Hummus is made from chickpeas, olive oil, lemon and garlic, all of which are known to be anti-inflammatory and pain relieving. Hummus can not only lift our mood but also result in a good night’s sleep. Add some plain crackers to it or some homemade boiled potato chips, and Voila! There you go with a nutritious yet fancy sounding meal for when you feel like going all out for your health.
- Fox Nuts
Fox nuts or makhanas are low in sugar, rich in antioxidants and therefore useful in fighting aging and chronic inflammation and stress.
Their Calcium and Iron content make them a must have food for people who are on their periods.
They generally do not have any taste for which we can add salt, pepper or simply heat them up and snack on them with your evening tea or coffee.
Dehydration during periods can cause severe discomfort and worsen the cramps. We experience hormonal fluctuations and often a bloated belly during this time. Our body retains more water impacts our digestive system and causes constipation, gas, and bloating. Drinking at least 9 to 10 glasses of water a day when menstruating can help fight the bloating as it flushes waste out of our system.
Let us know how you feel about these suggestions!