Why chocolate cravings strike a week or two before a menstrual period

Craving chocolate and other sweet foods in the lead up to a period has been linked to higher levels of inflammation


17 February 2023

More than half of the women in a study reported having moderate to severe cravings for food like chocolate during their menstrual cycle

Antonio Guillem/Alamy

Premenstrual cravings for sugary or salty food may be caused by inflammation. A study suggests that women who have high levels of inflammatory markers in their blood a week or two before they start their period are more likely to crave food like chocolate. However, another researcher says inflammation may not be driving these cravings, with unknown factors potentially being involved.

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