Last Updated: February 08, 2023, 11:36 IST
At some point throughout their monthly cycles, a lot of women have strong desires for sugary things.
A few days or weeks prior to your period, you might find yourself reaching for that tub of ice cream or trying to down some chocolates. Here’s why you might be feeling that
Many women experience intense sweet cravings at least once during their menstrual cycles. You might find yourself reaching for that tub of ice cream or looking to gulp down some chocolates a couple of days or weeks before your period. If you notice this pattern, you are likely detecting one of the most common signs of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Nutritionist Dr Vishakha Shivdasani explained why this happens in an informative Instagram reel. She said that the level of the progesterone hormone in body rises before the period.
“Progesterone requires insulin to function optimally. What are the foods that are rich and high in insulin? Everything that is processed because it’s nothing but sugar,” she said.
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The doctor explained that it’s not just sweet-tasting products that one needs to be careful about. Even savoury processed foods are nothing but sugar in the body, which helps with the said hormone.
She said that dark chocolate cravings are also a result of these hormones at play. “Chocolate is naturally high in magnesium and magnesium is also required to keep the progesterone levels up.” However, just because these cravings occur naturally does not mean one should give in to them.
Consuming sugar-filled, processed foods in large quantities can harm the body long-term. It could lead to weight gain, diabetes, and other health issues.
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Dr Shivdasani suggests that when you are craving sugar and really want to eat something to quell your hormone-induced hunger, opt for natural sugars instead of processed ones. Fruit salad, for instance, makes for a much healthier alternative. You could also try switching out ice cream with flavoured yoghurt and chips with homemade savoury snacks.
It is important to listen to the body’s needs at various stages and adapt dietary patterns and exercise routines accordingly. To this end, the nutritionist has advised that one not over-exercise a week before their periods. She said that it “hugely increases the cortisol spike which actually worsens your symptoms and your cravings.”
It is important to ensure that one gives their body rest or at least exercises a little less than usual to avoid worsening symptoms.
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