What *not* to eat when you have food cravings before your period

Some of us have had our periods for decades, but are still mystified about what’s going on down there and why. In the HelloGiggles series “Period Talk,” we ask gynecologists our biggest questions about all things period-related and finally get the answers to what is really going on . . . because everyone should be up-to-date on that time of the month! Our next question is about those gnarly food cravings and what we should REALLY be eating during our periods.

Why do I get such intense food cravings during my period? All I want is a bathtub of cheeseburgers!

For some of us, getting our period means food cravings galore. Chips, cookies, chocolate, pizza, cheeseburgers, you name it — our bodies want it, and now.


Some of us experience no cravings whatsoever, while for others its as a classic sign of PMS and one of the first signs that their period is on the way. The bad news? Indulging in salty or sugary foods can make other symptoms during your period much more unpleasant, because LIFE IS OBNOXIOUS. “Eating salt during the menstrual period promotes swelling in the hands and feet,” said Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak obstetrician-gynecologist Mark Werner, M.D. “Sugar increases blood sugar, which promotes mood swings.”

So what are we supposed to eat before our periods? “Fruits and vegetables are the best things to eat during one’s period, to avoid these, and other side effects,” Dr. Werner told HelloGiggles. Gynecologist Dr. Felice Gersh of Integrative Medical Group of Irvine agreed, adding that cravings are a sign of hormonal imbalance. “Eating lots of healthy foods and starchy root vegetables and phytonutrients can help with this,” she told us. “These foods make your [gastrointestinal] tract happy. If our guts are happy, our brains will be as well.”

So although you may *want* a bathtub of cheeseburgers, it’s best to try to nosh on something healthier. But if you wanna dip said fruits in chocolate and said veggies in ranch dressing, we personally think that’s a happy medium. (Or just eat a whole chocolate cake because it’s a FREE COUNTRY.)


Read more from the HelloGiggles series “Period Talk”:

This is the best birth control to manage cramps

This is why your boobs get so sore before your period

The surprising reason you get constipated during your period

This is what happens to your uterine lining if you have an IUD

Is Midol the best pain relief for cramps?

Is it normal to have super-short periods?

Is skipping your period with continuous birth control pills actually safe?

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