I don’t want to mention the Covid-19 because I’m sure you want to focus on your life right now, not how it’s stopped or done a 180 on your day to day routine. Though as our lives change and we are limited on choice (at the grocery store), we are all also experiencing a peak in stress from other changes, the last thing we need is to be affected by food cravings.
PMS can bring some intense cravings and PMS isn’t going to give us a break just because the rest of the world is giving us a hard time.
Today we are going to go over the root cause of cravings and healthy alternatives.
So let's dive into some of the common cravings, why we have them and good alternatives for balancing our bodies so that they go away!
1. Salty Foods - Pickles, olives, salt and vinegar chips - before I got a handle on my cravings, I couldn’t stop myself from buying and eating these salty goodies. The root cause normally being dehydration related to hormonal shifts. The thing you actual need is water. So as difficult as it might be, try to cut back on the salt and drink water.
2. Coffee - Sometimes you feel like you need the extra boost of energy. This is normally a sign of imbalance cortisol (and is often related to stress). The solution is of course, NOT more coffee. Try adding S’moo to some chocolate milk (S’moo has natural ingredients that wake you up and give energy while balancing your hormones) or you can try kukicha tea which contains some caffeine but not enough to impact your health. If nothing else, this could help you ween yourself off coffee.
3. Soda - OH THIS ONE! This was did me in for years. Soda cravings are normally a sign that your blood sugar is off. Instead of soda what you really need is a balanced meal with healthy fat and protein to stabilize your blood sugar. It also might be a sign that you’re dehydrated because as we talked about with salt, soda contains salt and sugar (which actually dehydrates you and keeps you thirsty enough to drink another soda). Instead of that soda, try drinking coconut water or carbonated water with flavoring. (I’ve always just preferred water, but I’ve recently started to really enjoy carbonated water with the right flavor).
4. Chocolate - The stereotype of women *sigh* is the craving of chocolate. When in reality it’s a sign that you might have a magnesium deficiency. The good news is, you don’t have to stop eating chocolate, you just need to eat the high quality bitter stuff ;) I’m kidding, I actually like it now, but it isn’t the chocolate I turned to before (when I didn’t have a handle on my hormones). No, I loved the cheap, milk chocolate with extra cookies, or creams or toffee chunks. What you need is the dark organic chocolate with little to no sugar. Meanwhile try taking a magnesium supplement to help with the sugar craving!
5. Starchy Foods - Bread, Pasta… carbs! This could mean a vitamin B deficiency or that your blood sugar is off. Don’t do it! Try adding a a vitamin B supplement into your day. You can still have carbs in moderation but instead of letting it make up the bulk of your meal, create meals that have protein, healthy fats and complex carbs from whole food sources. This will satisfy your body and give you the real energy you need.
6. Meat - Ugh, sorry, I’ve been vegetarian for awhile so this is not my favorite topic but here it goes! Normally the craving of red meat means you might have an Iron deficiency (if you’re craving ice - this is also associated with being low in iron). Eating red meat really isn’t bad for you, it’s recommenced that you try to eat grass-fed, organic meat to make sure you’re not putting any unwanted hormones in your body. If you don’t eat red meat, you can try taking liquid chlorophyll, though if your ice or meat cravings are taking over, think about visiting a doctor as being low in iron can be a sign of something going on in your body.
If you can beat the cravings, eat this instead!
There are foods that are particularly good during PMS to help balance your body and give you all those things you’re missing. They might be a lot healthier but the more you eat them, the more you’ll want them because how you feel will outweigh cravings.
Leafy greens (Examples: kale, broccoli, cauliflower) contain indole-3-carbinol (you can also get this as supplement). indole-3-carbinol is used for the prevention of breast cancer, colon cancer, and other types of cancer because studies show they reduce the risk of hormone-dependent cancers.
Chickpeas will give you the magnesium your body craves as well as vitamin B6.
Avocado has good fats that contain potassium, a mineral that sweeps excess sodium and fluid out of your body and also which helps fight muscle cramps.
Sweet Potatoes are rich in vitamin A, they support the liver as it metabolizes excess estrogen.
Greek Yogurt or Coconut Yogurt contains probiotics that help the gut metabolize estrogen and keeps your hormones balanced. This can also help keep your blood sugar balanced with it’s healthy fats.
Sardines are high in vitamin D and calcium which according to a study done at the University of Massachusetts, the combination lowers PMS symptoms. Sardines also are packed with nutrients (omega-3 fatty acids which studies show can reduce bloating, headaches and breast tenderness.
Say you don’t want to change your diet (which I don’t suggest) or you can't get enough of what you need, even though you're eating right (which does happen) but you still want to prevent PMS and regulate your hormones. Here are the supplements you can take to address the root causes of it and get on track!
Calcium - helps mood swings
Magnesium - promotes relaxations, reduces anxiety and stress, encourages a good night of sleep and fights PMS (for weight gain, breast tenderness and bloating).
Omega 3 fatty acids - helps against anxiety and depression. Some studies showing it can help reduce cramps.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) - helps metabolize excess estrogen and supports a stable blood sugar.
Vitamin D - helps balance the reproductive hormone imbalances in men and women.
Vitamin B6 - according to research this can help with premenstrual depression.
Let's tackle this together and take back control, cravings can't run your life anymore!
This content is strictly the opinion of S'moo and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither S'moo nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.