As a reminder, this week I’m sharing my favorite five short Hormonology Tips. This salt study intrigued me because I love love love salted popcorn. But, before I read this study, even I hadn’t realized how much I salt my popcorn actually changes according to where I am in my monthly cycle:

popcornIf you had a bucket of freshly-popped popcorn right now, how much salt would you shake on?

Would you skip the salt altogether? Shake on just a little? Shake on a bit more than that? Or dump the whole contents of the salt shaker onto your hot kernels?

Believe it or not, how much salt you crave right now can reveal where you are in your cycle.

In a 2005 study in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, here’s what researchers found:

> Women in their menstrual week (Week 1) prefer little to no salt.

> Women approaching ovulation (Week 2) prefer a moderate amount of salt.

> Women in the last two weeks of their cycle (Week 3 and Week 4) prefer a whole lot of salt.

Why is there such a difference in the desire for salt across your menstrual cycle?

The researchers speculate that as you approach ovulation, high estrogen triggers a bigger feel-good buzz in your brain when you eat salt, making you want to consume more.

And, during the last half of your cycle, progesterone may increase your appetite for salt as a way to get more sodium to help balance out fluids in the body.

Now that you know how your hormones impact your salt preferences, can you tell a difference when you’ve got the salt shaker out?

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