Hungry During Your Period?
When the time of the month arrives, many women become insatiable beasts with almost every type of food craving. Have you ever wondered why you are so hungry during your period?
According to OBGYNs, hormonal imbalances including changes to levels of cortisol, serotonin, progesterone, and magnesium in the body are the culprits for the insatiable hunger we feel during the week you have your period.
“At the time of your period, your body usually produces more cortisol to help you deal with your period’s effect on your body. Increased cortisol leads to increased insulin sensitivity, which leads to more sugar being used, and thus a lower sugar level. Your body responds by craving more sugar.”(Dr. George M. Arnold, chief of OBGYN, Markham Stouffville Hospital)
The increase of cortisol levels corresponds to the decrease in serotonin levels around the time of your period, which is why we get tempted to eat a lot of carbs to feel a lot better. The foods you crave replace the good feeling normally controlled by serotonin.
“A fall in progesterone can cause PMS symptoms as well as some degree of depression. Serotonin can offset this mood change [caused by a drop in progesterone]. As you now know, carbs can increase your serotonin level. Here, again, reaching for all those carbs can give you a temporary boost in your mood.” (Dr. George M. Arnold)
During your period, the hormonal changes and the physical stress deplete the magnesium levels in the body such that the body burns more calories. Serotonin also decreases because it depends on magnesium for its production and function. Cocoa is rich in magnesium, which is why we tend to crave for chocolate at the time of our period.
So don’t be guilty if you are so hungry during your period and crave for chocolates and carbs because it’s just your body dealing with the changes.