PMS & Food Cravings

We all get them - those intense Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) food cravings just before your period that leave you longing for a never-ending supply of chocolate. But where do they come from?

Cravings can begin by eating the wrong type of food (i.e. skipping out on your fruits and vegetables). Remember, ladies, fresh fruits and vegetables fill you up with essential minerals like calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium; deep-fried fast-foods fill you out with empty calories. Which one do you think your body needs? You guessed it!

Most of the plate should be covered with salads and vegetables, with only a small portion of red meat, fish or chicken and a starch.

Some women even have pica (cravings for unusual things to eat such as sand, clay, chalk or even soap) and these can be harmful. Others may simply crave comfort foods or addictive alternatives like coffee, and salty or sweet foods. Try to eat healthier alternatives.

Here are some examples of those typical cravings and a few alternatives you could consider:

CATEGORY

TYPE

ALTERNATIVE

SWEET

Chocolate

Sweets

Pudding

Ice-cream

Fizzy cool drinks

Carob, raisins, cereal bars or dried cranberries

Fruit like grapes, apples, mangos, watermelon or yoghurt-flavoured cashew nuts

Yoghurt, fruit, fresh fruit-juice or fruity ice lollies

Fruit, frozen yoghurt or ice smoothies

Ice-cold water with a slice of lemon or iced tea

 SAVOURY/ SALTY

Chips


Biltong


Fried chicken


Hamburger

Popcorn, pumpkin seeds, trail-pack snacks, green mielies or sweet-corn off the cob

Cold meats, salad with lemon juice or light salad dressing, or vegetable sticks with a marmite or cream cheese dip

Backed chicken breasts with home-made mushroom sauce

Tuna fish, veggie burger, crackers with mashed avocado or hummus on a rice cake

 SOUR

Pickles

Sour sweets

Cranberry juice

Liquorice or gum

CARBOHYDRATES & 'COMFORT FOOD'

Bread

Doughnuts, vetkoek, muffins & cake

Banana, rice cakes, Provita biscuits, baked beans, pita with salad or pasta with tomato and onion

Fruit-salad with frozen yoghurt,
carrot-cake muffins, pumpkin or banana fritters (lightly fried in olive oil), sesame seed bars, buttermilk rusks, muffins or pancakes


You could also talk to your chemist about taking magnesium, B vitamin supplements or even some evening primrose oil to balance things out.

Trust us - eat right when it counts and your body will thank you!

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