Period cravings: Science says I can have candy

I'm not, by nature, a chocolate lover. A chocolate liker, sure, but love is a strong word, a word I reserve solely for sour gummy type candy.

Confession out of the way, there is a certain time of the month that I would make sweet confectionery love to chocolate if only it would hold me afterward. That time is slightly before my Aunt Flo comes to visit. For a long time I thought that cravings were just mental, that somehow I got the idea of some sort of snackeroo in my mind and thusly wanted it with every fiber of my being. But, my lack of enthusiasm for chocolate during the other three weeks of the month got me thinking that there might be something biological to cravings after all.

I love science! It's the best enabler EVER! Apparently, sugar cravings are a totally normal part of PMS. I like to think my bitchy alter-ego stays restrained, but I can only do so much to restrain my inner chocolate lover. The changes in hormones that happen when you're prepping for your period can cause low insulin levels, and those cravings are just your body's way of saying, Give me some more fuel, willya, Toots! Okay, yeah, that fuel could probably be anything, and doesn't have to be chocolate, but I'd like to keep my social conditioning, thank you very much.

For the sake of full disclosure, the hormone-insulin level relationship is just a theory. Another theory is that chocolate (or your sweet food of choice) releases serotonin, which makes you happy, happy at a time you may otherwise want to spew venomous rage at anything or anyone in your path. I say chocolate is better than manslaughter, at least in my world.

Take these tidbits of PMS-candy-craving enablers as you will. As for me: now that I can explain my cravings for sugary-goodness at one point during the month, I'm now free to work on a theory to explain my weekly craving for Chinese take-out.


[photo credit: Getty Images]