Food Cravings and your periods: What you need to know

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Many things happen to you when you get your period each month. This is different for every woman because we are all unique.

Some women suffer from terrible period pain others become a little more sensitive or irritable and then there are those that get those ever-constant food cravings.

Many people believe that getting food cravings during your period is a myth. Kotex® together with their expert; Midwife and Health Educator Sister Burgie Ireland are here to dispel this myth.

“Food cravings specifically, comfort food cravings, before or at the start of your period are a very real thing” says Sister Burgie. These cravings are usually for either sweet treats like chocolate or savoury fatty foods like chips. “These cravings are generally less likely to be related to diet and more likely to be associated with hormones like cortisol (the stress hormone) and serotonin (the happiness hormone)” says Sister Burgie. These cravings happen because at the start of a period, cortisol levels spike causing serotonin levels to dip. The dip in serotonin causes a craving for sugary and fatty food, eating these foods gives the body a sense of comfort which ultimately boosts the serotonin levels back up to a normal level. This whole process is why women get cravings during their periods.

Top tips for curbing those period cravings:

  • It’s okay to indulge moderately in cravings during a period e.g. there are benefits to eating dark chocolate: it contains minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium and sugar for energy
  • Start a daily exercise programme – ideally in the sunshine for vitamin D
  • Get enough sleep to boost your serotonin levels
  • Take a pro-biotic if you have digestive problems to rekindle good bowel bacteria
  • Eliminate processed foods, caffeine and refined carbs the week before your period starts
  • Start your day with a protein packed breakfast
  • Snack on fresh fruits and raw vegetables during the day

So the next time you are on your period and get a craving or two for something sweet or fatty, know that it is real and that you aren’t losing your mind. If you make healthier choices in terms of satisfying your cravings like eating a piece of dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate your body will end up feeling better and healthier leaving you feeling more confident. You can also boost your confidence levels by using Kotex® products during your period. Kotex® pads and tampons offer you discretion with 3-in-1 benefits; protection against leakage, maximum comfort and a perfect fit for your body so you don’t have to worry about leakage whilst on your period. These benefits allow you to focus more on other things during your period like eating the right foods and take care of your body.

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