Most women know there's one time of the month where it's hardest to stick to your healthy eating plans, and it turns out there's actually a scientific reason why.
You know that drop in happiness you feel just before you get your period? According to skin and nutrition expert Fiona Tuck, this is due to a hormone imbalance that will lead you towards foods that are full of carbs and high in magnesium (like chocolate).
"When oestrogen and progesterone levels become out of balance our feel good hormone serotonin can drop," Tuck says. "This can lead to food cravings for high-carbohydrate based foods, as carbohydrates boost serotonin levels. PMS can often be linked to low levels of the mineral magnesium, a nutrient involved in hormonal balance, and low magnesium levels can lead to chocolate cravings."
The good news is, Fiona Tuck says magnesium-rich foods like dark chocolate, raw cacao, green leafy vegetables, raw nuts and legumes can help reduce PMS symptoms.
Foods that are high in Vitamin B6 can help lower anxiety and irritability, as they are required by the liver for hormone clearance. These foods include chicken, turkey, salmon, sunflower seeds, pistachios and eggplant.
You should also look out for foods that contain zinc, such as raw nuts, legumes, liver, oysters and lean red meat. This is important for reproductive health and hormones!
However there are definitely some foods you should steer clear of.
"Avoid packaged, processed foods which are low in nutrients and high in salt and sugar," Tuck says. "These foods can lead to bloating and further food cravings.
"Cut down on high-sugar foods and drinks, as sugar can deplete the body of magnesium which is an important mineral for reducing symptoms of PMS."
So careful to eat chocolate in moderation, and try these foods to feel better!