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If You Crave: Sweets or Starches

The Likely Culprit: Calcium Pinch
Almost 55 percent of women struggle with impossible-to-ignore cravings during their premenstrual week -- often for sweet or starchy snacks, say UCLA researchers. Those feeding frenzies could be a tip-off that your calcium stores are sinking low. Calcium keeps your nervous system calm and relaxed as your estrogen and progesterone levels plunge premenstrually. So, according to studies at the University of Tennessee, when this mineral is in short supply, you’ll feel rattled and stressed and crave calming carbs.

Rx: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that you can cut your premenstrual cravings and binges by 48 percent in three months, just by adding 1,200 milligrams of calcium to your daily diet. Yogurt is the true powerhouse of the calcium world -- one cup is packed with 454 milligrams. Other great sources: Cheese (200 milligrams per ounce), non-fat milk (300 milligrams per cup) and canned fish (240 milligrams per 4-ounce serving).

(Credit: Digital Vision/Getty Images)
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