When the period craving hits, it hits hard and it’s almost impossible to ignore.

But, some of the foods you desperately crave are actually the very things that are aggravating your period cramps.

Here are five things that you should avoid when it’s that time of the month:

Salty food

You’re not going to like this, but according to dieticians, foods that contain high doses of sodium are a big no-no. That means slap chips, crisps and canned foods should be avoided.

READ MORE: Five things your period could be saying about your health

This is because salty foods cause water retention and can make you feel more bloated than you already are.

Too much caffeine 

While no-one is telling you not to have that cup of coffee or caffeinated tea, you need to know that caffeine isn’t doing you any favours.

Beside aggravating your cramps, caffeine can increase your bloating discomfort and irritate your uterus.

“Caffeine is a vaso-constrictor. It makes blood vessels constrict and may cause the vessels that feed the uterus to tighten,” says Dr Lori Shemek.

Sugar

The craving for all things sweet is never as strong as it is when it’s that time of the month, but it is one craving that you need to nip in the bud because sugar causes inflammation and tends to intensify cramping.

READ MORE: Will ‘period leave’ become the norm?

Lack of sleep

Dieticians say not getting enough sleep can cause your body to become more stressed and this in turn affects your pituitary gland and can send your hormones out of whack. A lack of sleep has also been linked to irregular and heavier periods.

Not enough exercise

You might not want to do anything but stay in bed when you’re on your period, but a lack of activity actually worsens your cramps. It’s a good idea to get a little light exercise, as this will help get your blood circulating optimally and alleviate your cramps.