Health Care 10.Jul.2023

Why do I feel super hungry during periods?

“I am thinking to eat chocolate, no wait ice-cream, no wait I want a donut and a pizza.” This is one of the phases that every woman goes through during her periods. You start to feel low, irritated and your hunger pangs are at their highest. It’s very common to experience an increase in your appetite before and during your periods. The hormone changes which are associated with your periodical cycle can make you crave for food and the mood change that accompanies your period might lead you to crave foods that are higher in carbohydrates and sugar.

Some researchers and studies have suggested that compulsive eating has a physiological component attached to it. It states that when a woman is just starting on period, her BMR goes up by 9% which ends up in the body craving for the extra food we should not eat. Hormones like estrogen and progesterone are also responsible for these food cravings.  Estrogen appears to be associated with a decrease in appetite. Estrogen levels are highest during ovulation whereas the progesterone levels are highest just when you’re starting with your periods. Progesterone is responsible for the increase in your appetite. So all of your craving during the periods of carbohydrates and sugars comes because of this. The body starts to produce more cortisol which is considered to be a stress hormone, and this hormone comes with the sugar cravings.

The other reason that studies have shown in relation to why do women crave for food during periods is because women possibly become a bit more responsive to insulin in the pre-menstrual phase. Some women start to experience mild alterations in their blood sugar and craving for chocolate. Other than this, some studies have also suggested that women are usually told and advised to avoid eating fat and sugar to maintain a certain type of body figure. But somehow, it is acceptable to have those fats and sugary products during your periods. It’s like you are rewarding yourself for going through this tough time every month.

Foods like dark chocolate are known to ease down the hunger pangs you have every 10 minutes of the day. You can much onto fruits, vegetables, protein-rich foods, and whole grains to fill up your craving for food. To maintain a healthy diet even during periods, choose high fiber natural foods such as dates and walnuts to reward your body. Keep your body stocked and ready.