Anyone who has ever had a period knows that they can be accompanied by some pretty intense cravings. From salt to sugar to everything in between, it seems like our bodies are constantly asking for more food when we're on our period. But have you ever stopped to wonder why that is? Turns out, there's a scientific reason behind those cravings—and it all has to do with our hormones.
During your period, your estrogen levels are at their lowest. Estrogen is responsible for regulating your appetite, so when those levels drop, you may find yourself feeling hungrier than usual. The good news is that there's no need to feel guilty about indulging in your favorite comfort foods during this time—in fact, you might even be doing your body a favor.
That's because when you're craving something specific, like chocolate or salty foods, your body is actually trying to tell you something. Chocolate cravings, for example, are often a sign that your body needs more magnesium. Magnesium helps to relax the muscles and ease cramping, so eating foods rich in magnesium (like dark chocolate) can help to reduce period pain.
Salty cravings, on the other hand, are often a sign of dehydration. When you're on your period, you lose a lot of fluids—up to 12 cups worth over the course of a week!—so it's important to make sure you're drinking plenty of water and other fluids like herbal tea to replenish what's been lost. Trust us, your body will thank you later.
Next time you're hit with a major craving during your period, don't fight it—give in! Chances are, your body is just trying to tell you something. And who are we to argue with science?
Want to know what are the best teas for menstrual cramps? Check out our guide here!