The week before your period can be pretty fraught.
The smallest and most insignificant things can bring you to tears, your face resembles a dot-to-dot and you begin to hate everyone. Basically, life well and truly sucks.
But those intensely frustrating days could soon be over, as passionate foodie Tania Green has created a selection of healthy PMS Bites to nibble during the worst of your premenstrual turmoil - in the hope that they'll make things that little bit easier.
The idea behind the gluten-free, all-natural and 100% vegan bites is that they help feed your PMS cravings without inserting a load of sugary crap into your body. (Yes, pizza and ice cream, we're looking at you.)
Premenstrual syndrome is believed to be caused by a flux in hormones - namely oestrogen and progesterone - just before your period.
During this time, women are more likely to reach for that chocolate brownie because their cortisol levels (responsible for making you feel stressed) spike and their serotonin levels (responsible for making you feel good) dip, says Amanda Bontempo, dietitian at New York University Langone Medical Center.
"This fluctuation makes your body crave foods with lots of sugar and fat because they boost levels of serotonin and combat cortisol production, making you feel happier and more relaxed. That is, until you crash and need another sugary or fatty snack," she adds.
To help get her PMS-busting chocolate out into the public forum, Green launched a Kickstarter campaign, which has already hit its $5,000 target in just under 24 hours.
She wrote on the site: "We've all been there: boobs swell, stomach bloats, feelings hurt, friends and significant others become annoying, work becomes overwhelming, and the only relief seems to be a pound of chocolate and a good cry.
"Pre-menstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a real problem - and it bites. Eighty to ninety percent of women suffer from PMS, and thirty to forty percent find symptoms debilitating enough to interfere with their everyday lives."
Green felt inspired to launch the company after setting herself a New Year's resolution to record how each day panned out for three years. She soon noticed a pattern: "Most of my bad days were around my PMS time."
Not wanting to spend potentially 122 days of the year in a bad way, Green began experimenting in the kitchen to come up with a healthy snack - which still included chocolate - to counteract her cravings.
The chocolates come in three flavours and are made up of: dates, fair-trade cocoa powder, almond butter, gluten-free oats, coconut oil, brown rice syrup, dandelion root, Siberian ginseng, camomile, pecans and coconut (all organic, of course).
And for those worried about consuming too much of the stuff during PMS time, take heed from author Judith J. Wurtman.
"As long as portion control is monitored, fat is decreased and a vitamin pill is taken," says Wurtman. "No real nutritional harm will come from a once-a-month indulgence in this wonderful mood food."
Amen to that.
[H/T Daily Mail]