Crazy Hungry Before Your Period? Dive into a PMS-Tailored Menu!

July 27, 2023 | 


Joanna Newman



There´s a slice of the female population that gets a specific kind of hunger before their period starts. It´s like a hunger monster that’s suddenly awakened and won´t be tamed until it´s fed! If you´re nodding in agreement, then this article is just for you.

Understanding PMS Hunger

What is PMS? Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) refers to a group of symptoms experienced by women before their menstrual cycle begins. This can include mood swings, fatigue, irritability, and of course, changes in appetite.

Why do we get so hungry? It might seem like some cruel joke, but there´s actually a biological reason for this intense hunger. The body´s basal metabolic rate (BMR) increases shortly before menstruation. This means that the body is burning calories at a faster rate, which might lead to feelings of hunger.

Additionally, fluctuating hormones, especially progesterone, can stimulate appetite. Emotional factors also play a role. Stress and mood changes can lead to comfort eating.

Choosing the Right Foods for PMS

1. Iron and Zinc Rich Foods

  • Why? Menstruation causes a loss of blood, which means a loss of iron. To counteract this, it´s a good idea to boost your iron intake before your period. Zinc, on the other hand, can help with mood and acne issues that sometimes come with PMS.
  • What to eat? Spinach, legumes, red meat, pumpkin seeds, and nuts are all rich in iron and/or zinc.
  • 2. Complex Carbohydrates

  • Why? Carbohydrates can help in the production of serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter. This can be particularly helpful if PMS makes you feel moody or blue.
  • What to eat? Opt for whole grains, sweet potatoes, fruits, and legumes.
  • 3. Magnesium-packed Choices

  • Why? Magnesium can help reduce water retention and bloating. Additionally, it can assist in combating fatigue and mood swings.
  • What to eat? Go for bananas, avocados, nuts, and dark chocolate (yes, chocolate!).
  • 4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Why? Omega-3 can help manage mood swings and reduce menstrual pain.
  • What to eat? Fish like salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed are top choices.
  • 5. Stay Hydrated

  • Why? Drinking enough water can help reduce bloating and can assist with digestion.
  • What to drink? Water, herbal teas, and infused waters are excellent choices.
  • Steer Clear of These:

    1. Excessive Caffeine:

    While a cup of coffee or tea might be okay, overdoing it can lead to breast tenderness and can exacerbate PMS symptoms.

    2. Too Much Salt:

    Salt can worsen water retention and bloat, so it´s best to minimize it during this time.

    3. Sugary Snacks:

    While they might be tempting, they can cause a spike and subsequent crash in blood sugar, leading to mood swings.

    Crafting Your PMS-Tailored Menu

    Breakfast: A bowl of whole-grain oatmeal topped with banana slices, a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds, and a dash of cinnamon. Pair it with a cup of herbal tea.

    Lunch: Grilled salmon, quinoa salad with spinach, avocado, and cherry tomatoes. For the dressing, a light vinaigrette will do.

    Snack: A handful of nuts and a piece of dark chocolate.

    Dinner: Sweet potato and lentil stew with a side of whole-grain bread.

    Drink: Lots of water throughout the day, perhaps infused with slices of cucumber or lemon for flavor.


    While it´s okay to indulge every now and then (especially when the hunger monster strikes!), gearing your diet towards nutritious choices can help manage PMS symptoms better. Remember, food isn´t just about satisfying cravings, it´s about nourishing our bodies. And during a time when our bodies are working extra hard, it´s crucial to provide it with the right fuel.

    So, the next time you feel that pre-period hunger setting in, turn to this guide and make choices that not only satisfy your taste buds but also help ease those PMS blues.