That Time of the Month: Why You Crave These 10 Foods and What You Should Eat Instead

Your period shouldn’t rule your diet; here are healthy ways to deal with your cravings

When your hormones are going wild, your body tends to crave many different things. Look into why you are craving certain foods and what to eat instead.

Every three or four weeks, without fail, you experience cravings for sugar, meat, bread, and maybe even pickles. Why does this happen? According to registered dietitian Amanda Bontempo, your hormones that fluctuate during your menstrual cycle are responsible.

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The fluctuation in your hormones causes spikes in the stress hormone, cortisol, and a dip in pleasure hormone, serotonin. When your body encourages you to reach for foods with a lot of sugar and fat, your mind is simply looking for a way to boost serotonin and reduce the production of cortisol. Although these cravings may feel inevitable, you can make things easier on yourself.

Bontempo recommends eliminating processed foods, caffeine, and refined carbohydrates before your period comes along so that you can help stabilize your blood sugar levels. You can fill your diet with healthy, lean proteins such as an egg-white omelette instead of cereal or French toast.

If they persist, think about satisfying those cravings in a healthier way. We created a craving guide that will explain what to do when your period makes your crave every food in your pantry.

Acidic foods


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Fruits contain a lot of acid but you can balance it out by eating nuts and seeds.

If you crave acidic foods and drinks, such as citrus fruits, coffee, or even condiments, your body may be looking for magnesium. Try eating raw nuts, seeds, legumes, and fruits for protein, fiber, and healthy fats.



Photo Modified: Flickr / Stacy / CC BY 4.0

Try not to reach for refined carbohydrates when your cravings persist.


When you can’t stop thinking about pizza or a turkey sandwich on focaccia, your body could be searching for nitrogen or the amino acid tryptophan. Your body is looking to boost your mood but having too many refined carbohydrates can cause your blood sugar levels to spike, which will then instantly zap your energy levels. Reach for high-protein foods such as turkey, eggs, cashews, walnuts, cottage cheese, or beans.