Decoding Menstrual Cravings

Sep 07, 2023Jayme Perkins

Why Do Menstrual Cravings Occur? Let's learn together! 

  • Hormonal Fluctuations: Hormones play a pivotal role in triggering menstrual cravings. As the menstrual cycle progresses, estrogen and progesterone levels rise and fall. As estrogen declines, it can lead to a decrease in serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and appetite. This drop can prompt cravings for sugary or carbohydrate-rich foods, as they provide a temporary mood boost. 
  • Blood Sugar Levels: Some women experience fluctuations in blood sugar levels during their menstrual cycle. As blood sugar drops, the body seeks quick sources of energy, leading to cravings for high-carbohydrate foods.
  • Nutrient Deficiencies: Certain nutrients, like magnesium, may decrease in the days leading up to menstruation. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to sugar cravings, as it impacts mood regulation.
  • Emotional Changes: Hormonal shifts can lead to mood swings and emotional changes. Cravings might also be driven by emotional comfort, with sugary foods providing a temporary escape. An emotional support chocolate bar. :)

Managing Menstrual Cravings

  • Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods: Opt for whole foods rich in nutrients to help stabilize blood sugar levels and provide sustained energy. Incorporate whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables into your diet.
  • Balanced Meals: Eat balanced meals and snacks throughout the day to prevent extreme hunger, which can lead to overindulgence in sugary foods.
  • Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can sometimes be mistaken for hunger or cravings. Drink drink drink girl! (water mostly of course) 
  • Complex Carbs: Choose complex carbohydrates like whole grains, which release energy slowly and help maintain steady blood sugar levels.
  • Healthy Fats: Incorporate healthy fats from sources like avocados, nuts, and seeds, which contribute to satiety and stable blood sugar levels.
  • Mind-Body Practices: Engage in relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or gentle yoga to manage stress, which can influence cravings.
  • Physical Activity: Regular exercise can help regulate mood and reduce cravings. Engage in activities you enjoy, whether it's a brisk walk or a dance party!
  • Get Enough Sleep: Prioritize quality sleep, as inadequate sleep can disrupt hormones and increase cravings. Sleep in if you can, and take the naps!

Menstrual cravings are a natural part of the hormonal fluctuations that occur during the menstrual cycle. Understanding the underlying causes of these cravings empowers us to manage them more effectively! By making mindful food choices, staying hydrated, and engaging in self-care practices, we can navigate our menstrual cycles with greater ease and minimal disruption caused by cravings. Remember, each woman's experience is unique, so it's important to listen to your body and find the strategies that work best for you. 

More articles