If you are hungrier during your premenstrual time, guess what?
It’s completely NORMAL.
Why? Because your oestrogen and serotonin drop off in the lead up to your period, and they are your natural appetite suppressants. Whilst, progesterone which is the dominant hormone in this luteal phase is appetite enhancing. Plus when serotonin is low, we crave carbohydrate foods because they give us a boost in serotonin- the happy brain chemical. It all makes sense when you understand what’s actually going on in your body, right?
So, instead of feeling like you have no willpower or feeling guilty about eating more than usual this is the time to really listen to what your body is asking and honour it by eating more food. Yep, you heard me – the cure for PMS cravings is FOOD!
Your metabolic rate is higher during this time meaning you burn more calories, and your body is storing extra nutrients as it prepares to bleed.
Tips to manage food cravings during the premenstrual (luteal) phase of your cycle:
1. Avoid refined sugars as much as you can
- Sugar is inflammatory to the body and will only worsen your PMS and cravings so limiting intake (or better yet avoiding refined sugars) throughout the month will make a HUGE difference to pre-menstrual cravings
- If you’re craving sugar & chocolate it either comes down to a deficiency in magnesium or there may be an overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeast in your gut. So increasing magnesium is important, whilst addressing your gut health if you feel this may be the underlying issue
- The good news is that chocolate can be a superfood when you opt for the right kind! Try our Luna’s Lover Cacao Latte with Reishi & Ashwagandha for extra hormone supportive benefits.
- Other snacks to nourish sugar cravings are nuts or boiled eggs and sliced apple with almond butter.
2. Eat foods that are rich in tryptophan to boost serotonin:
- Organic Eggs
- Poultry- chicken, turkey
- Moonbox Earth Seeds
3. Boost magnesium levels:
- Moon Boost – spray on stomach and legs morning and night
Food sources of magnesium:
- Almonds, Earth Seeds, avocado, cashews, macadamias, and dark leafy green vegetables.
4. Here’s what to do when all you want is white carbs
- Craving white carbs is typically a sign of blood sugar instability and vitamin B deficiency. Your hormones then struggle to help you gage how hungry you are and send you into a carb binging frenzy. What to do about it? Instead of avoiding the entire food group of pastas and breads, instead opt for healthier carb alternatives such as oatmeal, quinoa, sweet potato, brown rice, and buckwheat. These options will fill you up faster, boost your B vitamin stores, keep those sugar levels balanced and thus curb the cravings. You can also look into supplementing with a B-6 or B-complex vitamin to help battle PMS
5. Make Good Fats Your BF
- When you don’t eat enough healthy fats it can cause depression, anxiety, mood swings, cravings and even infertility. Your body uses cholesterol from healthy fats to balance hormones which helps curb craving, improves metabolism, increases energy and enhances your libido. Examples of healthy fats are salmon, olives, olive oil, avocado, coconut oil, ghee, grass-fed butter, nuts and seeds.
7. For a long term fix – improve gut health:
- 90% of our serotonin is made in our gut.
- Lower levels of serotonin are linked to a disturbed gut microbiome (bacterial imbalance)
Improve gut health with lots of prebiotic and probiotic foods
- Stewed apples are one of the best gut healing foods you can eat (gently stew organic apples with cinnamon over low heat). Keep a batch in the fridge and eat cold or warm. Add it to chia pudding or coconut yoghurt.
When it comes to premenstrual cravings and other symptoms of PMS like bloating, fluid retention, mood swings, cramps and headaches – these are all signs of underlying imbalances at play. By correcting nutrient deficiencies through simple shifts in your diet and addressing certain lifestyle factors you can rebalance your hormones naturally and eliminate symptoms of PMS for good. Consistently healthy, happy, symptoms free periods are possible my friends – it just take empowering yourself with the knowledge & tools to get there. If you’d like to learn more, I invite you to check out our Healthy Hormones, Happy Periods Ebook Bundle.