What do potato chips and chocolate have in common, other than both being super tasty? They are the top two foods women crave when experiencing bouts of PMS. According to research the cravings have nothing to do with nutrient deficiencies, but rather with brain chemistry.
According to Judith Wurtman, Ph.D., a research scientist at MIT,
It's a brain deficiency. It's a real phenomenon, provoked by changes in the brain when one's hormones are changing. The one chemical that drives all of this is serotonin. One way you can make serotonin is by eating carbohydrates. But you don't have to eat chocolate or potato chips to do that any more than you need to drink champagne to satisfy your thirst.
So we reach for high-fat or sweet foods because they're a quick way to raise serotonin and endorphin levels, but complex carbohydrates will do the same thing and do it better. Since complex carbohydrates are not metabolized as quickly, you won't experience a drastic drop in blood sugars. In fact, mixing complex carbs with a little fat is the best, since the fat slows down the digestion process even more and will cut the craving.
Fit's Tip: Try a rice cake with almond butter next time you are experiencing that crazy PMS craving. If you need to, you can sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top, but think of them as garnish - not the main course.
If you haven't already, be sure to vote on "What Is Your Crazy PMS Craving?".