Why Am I Craving Chocolate
Eating chocolate releases endorphins and serotonin, which regulate your mood and balance neuromediators, encouraging relaxation. After getting used to this positive reaction to chocolate, your body starts to crave it. It intensifies during your period because of hormonal shifts and the loss of blood and nutrients.
Consider swapping that chocolate bar with a serving of sliced fruit. If that doesnt seem realistic, then opt for dark chocolate with less sugar when you really want to indulge.
What’s Best To Eat Before Your Period
This is the phase after ovulation has occurred and lasts until the first day of your period. During this phase, your estrogen drops and your progesterone levels rise. For your mind and body, this means that youll likely to have less energy and youll feel the urge to slow down. You might even feel a bit foggy and sad.
Cravings are strong and youll feel hungrier more often during the day. Thats why its important to be prepared with healthy snacks that support your body in feeling better instead of increasing the cramps, cravings and bloating.
During this luteal phase, its actually more important to focus on what foods to avoid, rather than what to eat. Generally, reduce your intake of refined sugars, processed food as well as alcohol. A few drinks will likely not have an effect on your body, but they can alter your hormones, leading to increased moodiness.
- Eat healthy fats! Your body needs fats to make the hormones fluctuate smoothly. Avocados, nuts and olive oil are a good option for a healthy fat intake.
- Adding sesame seeds, which have a high content of zinc as well as adding sunflower seeds, with their high levels of vitamin E to your smoothies, salads or breakfast bowls will support your body in its progesterone production.
- Include fibre-rich fruits and nuts like almonds, apples, dates, peaches, and pears to combat bloating and bowel irritability. These are perfect to keep as healthy snacks throughout the day. Opt for these instead of a snickers bar.
Luteal Phase Aka No Thanks
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So things are going great when before you know it you are in the luteal phase. This phase happens when the mature egg that was released during the ovulation phase does not get fertilized. As a result, hormone levels decline and we have to experience the very pleasant and oh so lovely premenstrual symptoms, which include but are not limited to cramps, headaches, bloating, aches and pains, mood swings and fatigue. So what can you do nutritionally to deal with the discomforts of the luteal phase?
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Foods To Eat During Periods
Lets be honest- even without symptoms, periods arent easy on anyone. Sudden cravings are also often accompanied by an increase in hunger, and that should not be ignored. However, eating right can not only help you satiate your hunger and curb cravings but can also make you feel much better! Below is a list of foods to eat during your period.
What To Eat Before During And After Your Period: A Helpful Guide
Co-authored by Jessica Smith
So, how have the mood swings been coming along lately? What about the cramps and the bloating? Period symptoms are uncomfortable, sometimes even intolerable. And if youve ever wondered why these symptoms show up in a more extreme form one month, but the next its all so much easier to handle, then read on.
Well-known period symptoms such as PMS, mood swings, bloating and cramps are all due to hormonal fluctuation the reason our menstrual cycles occur in the first place. But if these hormones are out of balance, then the above-mentioned symptoms can get out of hand.
This post should help you understand how to use food as a resource to balance your hormones and support your body. Of course, for people who suffer from endometriosis or PCOS, simply trying to live a more healthy lifestyle will not help alleviate excruciating period pain.
We cant say it enough: its important to accept that if your period or your cramps are a major disrupter of letting you lead a normal life , please consult with a doctor, as there could be a more serious health issue causing the extreme period symptoms. And dont rest until you find a doctor who takes your pain seriously.
Now back to hormone-balancing food: Enjoy this guide we put together to help you choose your meals so that they can support what your body needs during each menstrual phase.
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When To Contact A Doctor
Some menstrual symptoms, such as abdominal cramps, fatigue, mood, and swings, are common. However, if you experience the below-mentioned symptoms, then you must contact a doctor:
- Irregular periods
- Bleeding, which lasts longer than seven days
- Extreme pain in which over-the-counter drugs provide no relief
Food And Flow: The Best Foods To Eat When You Have Your Period
While nutrition is always important, its even more critical when youre menstruating. Heres how to deal with those cravings while giving your body the nutrients it needs.
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During your period, your body is going through a lotyoure losing blood, experiencing pain, and enduring mood-altering hormonal changes. The food you eatand dont eatduring your period can have a profound effect on the symptoms you experience.The impact of diet during periods starts in the two days and up to a week before the period actually starts, says OB-GYN Cindy Duke, MD, PhD, and medical director of theNevada Fertility Institute. Many people notice that they have strong cravings before and during menstruation. This is usually because your body lacks a certain nutrient and your brain interprets this as a craving for an associated food.Some research has suggested that a key mood hormone in the brain, which is known as serotonin, can be affected by foods such as white, processed sugars, chocolate, and carbonated drinks, Duke says. If you indulge in these cravings, it can increase the mood swings you experience during your period. Duke says that a balanced diet can improve your mood while reducing cravings.What you eat during your period is importantbut which foods should you munch, and which ones should you avoid? Heres a quick guide.
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Increase Your Magnesium Intake
Magnesium is another mineral that, for a variety of reasons, is essential when youre on your period. Some studies have found that it could help reduce the prominence of menstrual migraines whilst others have said it may even help with period cramps.
Magnesium is necessary for a range of bodily functions including blood pressure regulation and muscle contraction but the changes to hormone levels that occur during menstruation may alter how effectively our bodies can use magnesium for these purposes. Therefore, increasing your magnesium intake could help to level things off and fight any additional symptoms.
Surprisingly, an excellent source of magnesium is good quality dark chocolate . So, you can get your sweet fix and it will still help you through your period! However, if that doesnt take your fancy there are a host of other foods with good magnesium content.
- Vegan options quinoa, brown rice, tofu
- Fish mackerel
- Vegetables spinach, avocado, black beans, edamame beans
- Snacks pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews
- Fruit figs, bananas
Again, there are a number of recipes you can try if you want to use any of these ingredients in a slightly more interesting way including:
Keep Your Macros Balanced
As a runner, nothing will stop you from keeping up with your training plan. But since youre likely to feel more tired than normal, its important to fuel properly, says Rizzo. While everyones exact macronutrient breakdown will be a little different based on a number of factors, you should be mindful that youre not totally cutting one of them out or focusing solely on your favorite macro.
Carbs: Opt for whole grains, which have plenty of fiber to keep you full and provide long-lasting energy, Rizzo says. Whole wheat bread is a simple and easy choice, but so are oats, quinoa, brown rice, farro, sorghum, freekeh, popcorn, barleythe list goes on. Starchy root vegetables, like sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets, can also count towards your daily carb totals. And since theyre all high in vitamin A, eating them during your period could be extra smart: As you start shedding the lining of your uterine wall, your ovaries are producing more estrogen, Rizzo explains. That change in hormones can cause cramps and other uncomfortable symptoms, but vitamin A helps your liver process estrogen.
Healthy fats: Your hormone levels are out of whack the week before your period , says Rizzo. Luckily, those hormone levels recede when your period finally arrives, which can cause a shift in mood. Incorporating good fats into your diet, via olive oil, avocado, and nuts, for example, can help stabilize those mood swings.
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How Does Diet Affect Your Menstrual Cycle
There are many theories out there that a lack of certain nutrients can lead to PMS, but there are no well-conducted clinical trials to prove what a woman eats has anything to do with whether she develops PMS, according to fitness, wellness and nutrition expert Penny Weston. However, following a healthy diet generally may help increase your energy levels and how you feel. You can certainly improve your intake for certain nutrients, which women commonly lack.
Weston explains how women often dont have enough zinc in their diet, which helps to support the immune system. Zinc is found in red meat, poultry, seeds, whole grains and legumes. B vitamins are also essential for supporting metabolism, regulating menstrual flow, growth and red blood cell development. Women lose iron through menstruation, which can make them susceptible to deficiency. Iron is essential for red blood cell development and general wellbeing and can also be found in legumes, red meat, beans, and dark green leafy vegetables.
Brothers further explains how what we eat has a powerful impact on our menstrual cycle. If we eat three meals a day, then we have 21 opportunities each week to add in foods that support the way our body makes sex hormones like oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone, she says, This helps to build the lining for the uterus and helps us make healthy eggs.
Dont Sleep With Your Tampon In
Leaving a tampon in for longer than four hours runs the risk of developing toxic shock syndrome . This is when toxins from the staphylococcus aureus bacteria start to seep into the bloodstream and can cause life-threatening reactions, says Kelly. You may begin to experience fever, rash, dizziness and vomiting. If you suspect you may have TSS then seek medical advice asap.
Dont forget to change your tampon either. This seems an obvious one, but its particularly relevant for people who have light periods. We generally advise women to change their tampon every four hours, says Dr Tania. Dont leave it any longer due to the risk of bacterial infection. This isnt as much as a problem for women who bleed heavily, women with lighter periods need to make sure they remember to change the tampon even if its not finished.
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Dont Forget Vitamin D
New studies have shown that having low vitamin D levels can cause irregular periods vitamin D also plays a role in boosting energy levels, bolstering mood, and fighting insomniaall issues when youre on your period.
It is found in fish oils, fortified milk, egg yolks.
A Quick Vitamin Refresher
You walk in the sunshine every day . You eat right. You get enough sleep. However, you still may be missing something even if youre doing all the right thingsvitamin D. Though rare, severely low levels of vitamin D can cause rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
Left untreated, these conditions can lead to bone pain, soft and brittle bones, and muscle pain and weakness. However, recent research has suggested a connection between even moderately low levels of vitamin D and some surprising health conditions, including diabetes, osteoarthritis, and cancer.
Here are a few sneaky signs that you might not be getting enough vitamin D. If you feel that youre suffering from any of these symptoms, talk with your healthcare provider, who will likely recommend a blood test. This is the only way to determine your vitamin D level accurately. Then you can discuss ways to boost your levels, typically by taking an over-the-counter supplement.
What To Eat After Your Period
Starting already towards the end of your period, when your flow is lighter, you will want to focus on food that supports estrogen production. Its the hormone responsible for boosting your mood and energy levels.
Youll feel your absolute best during this phase, which leads up to ovulation, so this is a great time to start a new habit, focus on new workout routines and schedule social appointments.
- Adding a tablespoon of flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds to your salad, porridge or energy balls can naturally increase your estrogen levels.
- Make the most of the rise in energy levels, and get active. Support your muscles growth and body by making sure that your body gets enough proteins.
- Youre appetite will decrease during this phase, so focus on eating your meals regularly. It will be a lot easier to focus on healthy foods in smaller portions, so if theres a new healthy recipe you want to try, this is the menstrual phase to do it.>
- Its a great week to consume calcium-rich foods such as kale, spinach, collard greens or turnips.
- But theres also a downside to all of the energy coming from the estrogen-peak: some might feel anxiety or stress. If thats the case for you and you feel restless, try to meditate a little and add a ritual that includes drinking chamomile tea, taking a few moments for yourself and relaxing.
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Eating During Your Period
Water intake could decrease the duration of menstrual bleeding, the amount of pain relievers consumed, and the severity of pelvic pain among the young women suffering from primary dysmenorrhea ,” said Huntriss. However, drinking alcohol can dehydrate you, as it increases urine output, and could worsen symptoms, such as low mood, headaches and bloating, according to Huntriss.
Including sources of omega-3 fats in your diet, such as oily fish, may also help relieve period pain, according to one small study. Zinc, which is found in meat, shellfish, dairy and bread, may also reduce pain.
People “who lose a lot of blood during their monthly period are at higher risk of iron deficiency anaemia,” says the NHS website. Women aged 19 to 50 need more iron from their diet than any other gender or age group: 14.8mg per day, on average. However, the National Diet and Nutrition Survey found over a quarter of these women had iron intakes below the lower reference nutrient intake , or the minimum requirement. It also found over half of girls aged 11 to 18 had iron intakes below the LRNI. Iron deficiency anaemia and low iron stores were evident in nine percent of the girls and five percent of the women.