Do the rains make you crave for a hot plate of samosa and chai? Are you one of those people who cannot watch a movie without a huge bag of popcorn? Do you fill your pantry with loads of junk food right before your periods? If yes, we completely understand your relationship with food. Humankind has a special connection with food for as long as time itself. Whether one is homesick, upset or on their period, food is where we seek comfort. We are sure there are lots of you out there who crave for a piping hot bag of fries or some spicy shawarma or some really great “period” food while on your periods! In fact, it’s a fact universally acknowledged that period cravings are legit and fixing those cravings can act more like a method of self-medication.
Why does this happen, you may ask? It’s hormones! These hormones are generally linked with your PMS or premenstrual syndrome. PMS is a cluster of symptoms like behavioural or emotional that occur right before your periods due to change in the hormones. Studies suggest that changes in levels of progesterone and estrogen may cause cravings for foods rich in carbs and sugar. Hormones like serotonin and dopamine, so called the “the happy hormones” can take a dip and hence be the driving force that can lead us to emptying the pantry when Aunt Flo comes to town. Eating starchy food can cause our brain to release these hormones and boost feelings of happiness on otherwise moody and irritated days. So, here we have made a list of some quick recipes of our favourite food that help us placate our period cravings.
1. Hot Chocolate
If there’s one thing that most women on their periods swear by, its chocolate. That feeling of sweetness gliding into the mouths is enough to put anyone in a jovial mood and hot chocolate is long known for its soothing quality and for lightening the mood.
What You Need: Milk, Cocoa, Sugar, Chocolate, Vanilla Extract & Marshmallows or Whipped Cream
Method: Boil some milk in a saucepan. Add sugar with one tbsp of cocoa and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. To this mixture, put some chocolate (milk or dark as per your preference) and keep whisking till the brew is nice and everything is combined. Pour this in a mug and add some whipped cream and marshmallows on top. There, you have it! Some nice, hot and sweet hot chocolate to slake your period cravings.
2. Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Ever wondered why you crave carbs during periods? Periods tend to reduce the serotonin (the hormone responsible for keeping mood balance) levels which triggers craving for carbs, because they produce serotonin. The satisfying pull of cheese and its savoury taste in the mouth is what makes this recipe a must-have during your period.
What You Need: A Loaf of Bread, Butter, Cheese- grated and sliced & Italian herbs
Method: Put some butter in a pan and toast the bread lightly. On a slice of bread, add some grated cheese, cheese slices, and Italian herbs for flavour. Cover this with another slice of bread and heat both the sides till the cheese melts. Plate and relish with gusto.
3. Cold Coffee
We all have felt groggy, moody and annoyed during our periods. That’s usually because of low dopamine levels in the body, thereby making it crave for some coffee. The best version of coffee is of course had cold!
What You Need: Coffee, Cold Milk, Sugar & Ice Cubes
Method: Add some coffee, sugar and water in a mug and mix. To this mixture, add some cold milk and whisk it till the concoction is nice and frothy. Put some ice cubes and enjoy!
Cortisol, the stress hormone tends to spike during our periods, making us yearn for oily, fried and fatty foods. While ordering fries from a nearby joint may be easy but here’s a quick way you can make fries at home.
What You Need: Potatoes (4-6 Nos), Salt & Oil
Method: Chop some potatoes in long rectangular slices and put them in a bowl of water. Add some salt and leave it for 5-10 minutes to marinate. Take a frying pan and add some oil. Once the oil heats up, fry the potatoes. Once they are nice and golden brown, take them out and put them on a plate lined with some tissue to absorb the excess oil. Repeat the process for all the potatoes. Once done, enjoy with a dip of your choice.
5. Chocolate Balls
Sweets are high in sugar and fill you up with energy, especially during those days when you are on your periods. As our calorie requirements fluctuate throughout the month, so should the intake. The yearning to have chocolate during periods is profound and let’s be honest, no one can say NO to those delicious chocolate balls. Here’s a no-fuss recipe on how to make some lip-smacking chocolate balls.
What You Need: One Big Bar of Chocolate neatly chopped, Heavy Whipping Cream, 1 tbsp butter
Method: Pour warm cream over chopped chocolate and let them sit in the bowl for a minute. Stir them until the chocolate is melted. Refrigerate for about an hour or two until the mixture is settled. Eventually roll them into balls and coat them with sprinkles, cocoa powder, melted chocolate or nuts. Viola! Some tasty, quick and easy chocolate balls.
A word of caution though. While we understand that PMS is a tough time of the month and we should satiate all cravings, it's also important that we stay mindful of what we are eating.