When PMS strikes I almost automatically reach for the biscuit tin, but sugar and highly processed foods can worsen symptoms of PMS, and aggravate an angry tummy.
Foods which contain natural sugar and are protein-rich don't sound like your typical sweet treats, but you'd be surprised at how indulgent the following snacks can be.
Chewy banana chips
I don't mean banana chips which are hard and baked in coconut oil, but the chewy kind. These always satisfy my sweet tooth because they're baked at optimum ripeness and sweetness. Try not to eat a whole bag though - I usually munch about a handful and that's enough to satisfy.
Whole, crunchy peanut butter
Peanut butter, in its thick and natural state is surprisingly treat-like. It is nowhere near as unhealthy as a chocolate bar or bag of sweets because it is naturally high in protein, full of flavour, and is a natural energy booster. If you like your peanut butter smooth make sure it's whole nut, or that the label states the peanuts are roasted whole. Two (or three!) spoonfuls of peanut butter is just the right amount of naughty for me.
Roasted almonds are generally treated as a healthy snack, but dipped in a little honey or agave syrup, and they become a guilt-free sweet treat. Once you've eaten a few you realise how delicious and moreish they are. Almonds are high in healthy fats, so eating fifty grams won't harm your waist line. I wouldn't advise overindulging, but once a month I like to roast about fifty gram, drizzle with honey, and eat them in one go. It's pure, unadulterated bliss.
Coconut water with pineapple juice
Young coconut juice hydrates better than water and hydration is key when you're on your period; instead of sipping sugary hot chocolate and caffeine-dense coffee, try a more natural (and delicious) beverage mix. I mix half a glass pineapple juice with half coconut water, and sip. You'd be surprised at how quickly your cravings for sugar disappear, the natural sugars of pineapple satisfy your sweet tooth, and the coconut water gives you much-needed hydration.
Baked core fruit
Apples and pears have always been considered healthy, but are often overlooked with more exciting fruits on the market. Lest we forget the humble fruit which is available is nearly every country across the globe; apples and pear become my go-to fruits when I want a low fat, but pudding-like dessert. If you lightly score the fruit and place in the oven on a low heat for half an hour you will see the fruits of your efforts. The fruit becomes tender, soft, and the natural sugars caramelise to give a sweetness you wouldn't have thought possible.
So maybe think twice when you're rummaging in the cupboard for an elusive pack of biscuits - they're escaping you for a reason (or at least that's what I tell myself). If you've got a fruit bowl of apples, a tub of peanut butter, or some bananas, give nature a chance. Seriously give the refined sugar a miss, and see how sweet life tastes.