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

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

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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.

Acidic foods

fruit
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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

Bread

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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.

Cheese

cheese
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Whether you love the way cheese tastes melted in between two slices of bread or can't wait to pair it with a glass of wine, your body could need calcium. For healthy teeth and bones, instead try eating broccoli, yogurt, and almonds, which are all rich in calcium.

Chocolate

Chocolate
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Chocolate is rich in magnesium, which happens to be linked to energy production in the body. During your period, it’s normal to feel fatigue, which is why these cravings hit you hard. If you refuse to avoid chocolate, try dark chocolate or chocolate-covered almonds to give you a little bit of protein as you are snacking. 

Coffee

coffee

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Despite the argument on whether or not you should drink coffee,  a cup a day, with a healthy sweetener, has proven health benefits. If you’ve already had a couple cups and you are still searching for energy, try getting energy and iron from meat, fish, or leafy greens.

Fatty foods

Fatty foods

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Maybe instead of craving sweet foods, you reach for a bag of chips. If your body really needs sodium chloride, try eating fish or using sea salt to season your roasted vegetables

Ice

Ice

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If you are craving a large cup of ice chips, that could mean you are iron deficient. Chewing on ice can relieve painful inflammation in the mouth, which is a symptom of anemia. If you think you may be iron deficient, consult with a doctor and also try to incorporate into your diet whole-wheat bread, figs, spinach, broccoli, and lentils. 

Salty foods

Salty foods

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Maybe instead of craving sweet foods, you reach for a bag of chips. If your body really needs sodium chloride, try eating fish or using sea salt to season your roasted vegetables

Soda

soda

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Whether it’s the carbonation or the sugar, soda can give you the sugar and energy rush that you are looking for during your period. However, you should not drink soda during your period, because it will only make you feel more tired and bloated. Instead, flavor your water with frozen fruit or a slice of lemon.

Sweet foods

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Reaching for sugar and refined carbohydrates is typical during your period because eating sweet things tends to release serotonin, which boosts your mood. However, the crash that follows your cookies, candy, or doughnuts will make you feel more fatigue than you did in the first place. Try to eat plenty of lean protein and vegetables to combat this craving and also reach for cotton candy grapes, which will solve your sweet problems.