PMS is a very confusing time for women all around the globe. Although, the hormonal changes are varied a matter of fact remains that women face various mood swings and cravings and handling these cravings become next to impossible.
PMS cravings are a form of premenstrual syndrome. If the matter becomes highly intense to handle, it might lead to some gynec problem. It is best to consult a gynaecologist if the issue persists. In normal instances, serotonin levels go down during PMS which lead to cravings during this period. Therefore, the delightful chocolate and ice cream experiences turn out to be surreal and delicious. This catastrophic chained reaction starts a week or two before menstruation.
Now, we mentioned it to be catastrophic because this period creates the most unreasonable scenarios in a woman's head to justify behaving and eating unorderly as they do, during their PMS.
Why crave during PMS?
Low progesterone & high estrogen levels indicate a decline in blood sugar levels leads to sugar cravings. Consuming sweets increase blood sugar levels. But on the flip side, a decline in blood sugar level is seen soon after. This causes anxiety, irritability, and sugar cravings
Serotonin is one of the 4 feel-good chemicals secreted by the brain. The level of this chemical goes down during menstruation which again leads to cravings
Lack of sunshine can be one of the reasons for such cravings as serotonin levels decrease which in turn head towards a heightened appetite and cravings
We, however, have a few tips to control the dreaded PMS craving, following these tips should be beneficial to women during menstruation:
Visiting outdoors for sunshine in order to increase serotonin levels and regulate sugar as well as carbohydrate cravings
Eating smaller and frequent meals throughout the day should help regulate blood sugar levels and control cravings.
The entire day’s meal can be divided and subdivided into smaller meals. About 6-7 small meals including the three major meals throughout the day will be of much help
Distributing the meals between every three hours would give the body constant energy to sustain itself properly throughout the day
Fiber-rich foods are complex carbohydrates. These take a longer time for the body to break down and absorb carbohydrates, which help in further curbing the cravings
Eating whole-grain pieces of bread, chapatis, dal, fruit, and starchy veggies, also help suppress cravings as they are forms of complex carbohydrates
Protein intake during meals and snacks regulate blood sugar levels. Proteins slow down the digestive processes and curb untimely hunger
Proteins like eggs, chicken, fish and peanut butter are useful in curbing hunger cravings
A few types of research also indicate that the reason for cravings is low magnesium levels. Hence, magnesium intake should be maintained and regulated
Almonds, Peanut butter, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, brown rice, & beans are great sources of magnesium
Dark chocolates of fine quality are rich sources of magnesium & also high in antioxidants. Both help in curbing cravings. But chocolate has a high-fat content too, hence should be consumed in small quantities
Stressful situations should be avoided. Taking deep breaths, with proper inhalation and exhalations whenever feeling anxious help in reducing the cravings and anxiety
Exercise or yoga or mild running boost endorphins which reduces appetite
Mild exercises also help, such as climbing the stairs. Walking a few kilometers help rather than driving a car, booking a cab or an autorickshaw.
The metabolism in women is known to increase a few weeks before menstruation. So the craving suggests that the body might burn an extra 100 calories a day during this period
These are a few things to keep in mind during menstrual cycles every month. If we follow these tips, the PMS time period would pass smoothly. Being cautious is necessary especially during this period. I
In case of a major difficulty during this period make an appointment and be sure to visit your gynaecologist without fail.