Glass of smoothie

When the food cravings get too bad

You know the story – you try to eat healthily most of the time and then around your period you just crave sweet or salty foods. However hard you try you just cannot get the thought of chocolate or crisps out of your head and nothing else will do. Eventually you just can’t resist any longer and all that healthy eating goes out the window. Yes, I’ve been there too!

When the hormones are out of balance and we’re in that PMS phase leading up to or at the start of the period the food cravings can get strong. You may also find that as your approach the perimenopause and the hormones start to swing more you may also experience more PMS symptoms and food cravings.

The trick is to be prepared and to make sure that in the lead up to your period you have plenty of alternative snacks in, that will still give you that sweet or salty hit when you really need it and will give you a few other health benefits too, but are not as bad as chocolate bars and crisps.

I don’t advice snacking on these foods every day, but if you struggle around the time of your period, then these foods may help.

Dark chocolate

If you are going to indulge, then go for dark chocolate with at least 80% cocoa solids – Green and Blacks are my favourite. This limits the amount of sugar you are taking in and also gives you some magnesium, which can help with hormone balance. Try to limit yourself to four squares at a time.

Energy balls

These are my go to when I’m tired, working long hours and need a pick me up or getting sugar cravings. There are so many different recipes, but they basically involve a combination of dates, nuts or seeds with a few added extras thrown in. The dates give you the sweet hit, but you also get some healthy fats to help with hormone balance from the nuts and seeds. Try this recipe on my website.


Having a smoothie can be a good mid-afternoon energy booster and stop you reaching for the crisps and chocolate. Having some berries, mango or pineapple in the smoothie will give you that bit of sweetness, but the vegetables in it, especially cruciferous vegetables, will help with hormone balance. Try this kale and berry smoothie. Add a tablespoon of nut butter to give you some healthy fats and keep you full. And if you are really craving chocolate then add a tablespoon of cacao powder to give you that chocolate flavour.

Roasted sweet potatoes

This may sound strange, but roasting sweet potatoes really brings out the sweetness in them. Try adding them to salads or have as a vegetable with your main meal to give you that sweet hit.

Kale crisps

If you are craving salt, then try roasting some kale, olive oil and Himalayan salt in the oven for 10-15 minutes. This will give you some salt, but without the saturated fat that you get in crisps. The kale is a cruciferous vegetable so helps with hormone balance.

Roasted nuts and seeds

Similarly try roasting some nuts and seeds in tamari in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes to give you that savoury, salty taste. The nuts and seeds will also give you some healthy fats and a number of vitamins and minerals that help with hormone balance.

Give these alternatives a try and let me know how you get on.

If you are struggling with PMS symptoms and would like some help in putting a programme together to help you get the symptoms back in control, then do book in for a free hormone health review.

Content Disclaimer

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog  are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Emma Belton Nutrition disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.

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