Do you often crave chocolate before and during your periods? Do you wonder why this is the case or if it’s even good for you?
If you are curious about the answers to these questions and more, read on to find out why you crave chocolate during your periods and even which chocolates are good for your body and mental health.
Studies show that almost half of women in America crave chocolate during their periods.
There are a few reasons why chocolate and periods seem to go hand in hand.
What Causes Chocolate Craving During Your Periods?
The reasons that you may be craving certain foods such as chocolate can be that your body is lacking in certain nutrition and can experience a quick fix of those missing nutrients when eating chocolate.
The following reasons will go into details of why this is the case.
Chocolate Releases Serotonin and Endorphins
One of the ‘feel-good’ chemicals in your brain is called serotonin.
Chocolate helps release this chemical in your brain which makes you feel good. Serotonin not only elevates your mood, but helps you with many bodily functions such as; memory, sexual desires, appetite, and. It even plays a part in your socializing.
Phenylethylamine (PEA) which is contained in chocolate, releases chemicals in the brain called endorphins. Endorphins can make you feel euphoric and can even reduce your perception of pain.
That is why you may have heard chocolate referred to as the ‘love drug’.
When you are experiencing premenstrual symptoms (PMS), you can see how and why you start to crave chocolate, especially during this time.
Chocolate can have positive effects on your emotions. You will learn later in the article how chocolate can boost your mood.
Other ways that you can help your body release serotonin and endorphins; aromatherapy; especially using vanilla and lavender, eating ginseng, exercise, sex, laughter, listening to music and eating spicy foods
Chocolate is High in Satiating Fats
You may be craving chocolate before and during your menstrual cycle because you’re not getting enough fats in your diet. Chocolate is high in fat, especially satiating fats.
That means that chocolate contains saturated and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Not eating enough fats can be detrimental to your health and can cause your body to experience a variety of symptoms such as dry skin and hair and craving foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates.
Dark chocolate is best for getting the healthy fats that you need for your body. Other foods that are high in the good fats that your body needs to maintain a healthy balance are; avocados, eggs, fish, nuts, extra virgin olive oil and cheese.
Your Body Is Craving Magnesium
Another reason why chocolate and menstruation work so well together, is due to Magnesium. Magnesium is another chemical that your body needs to maintain your health and wellbeing.
When you crave chocolate during your period, it could mean that you are deficient in Magnesium.
Chocolate contains magnesium and could be a good reason why you are carving chocolate during your menstruation.
Studies show that only 25% of U.S. adults get the recommended daily amount of magnesium required for their bodies a day.
As a woman, you need approximately 310-320 milligrams of Magnesium to maintain your health.
Other foods that can provide your body with Magnesium are; spinach, chard and other green leafy greens, kefir and yogurt, almonds and other nuts and seeds, black beans and organic seaweed.
Your Mind Is Craving a Boost in Mood
Like mentioned earlier in the article, serotonin and endorphins can help boost your mood. Since chocolate helps release these chemicals into your body to give you a state of euphoria and boost in mood, that could be the reason that you crave chocolate during your cycle.
Especially if you experience PMS symptoms or depression.
You will notice that as soon as you eat chocolate, you will experience a quick emotional boost.
Other ways to elevate your mood during times of PMS or depression are; exercise, using essential oils, massage therapy and other forms of alternative therapy, counseling, and meditation.
Is Chocolate Good for Your Menstruation Cycle?
The best chocolate that you should choose during your cravings is organic dark chocolate.
You will notice that mainstream chocolates like; Hershey Bars, Baby Ruth’s, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Snickers contain a large amount of sugars and chemicals.
They also add too many empty calories into your body which is not helpful to your health and wellbeing.
Healthy chocolates that are 70% cacao or cocoa are a better option for your wellbeing and health since dark chocolate is high in antioxidants, flavonoids and polyphenols.
There are many benefits to eating dark chocolate which are:
- Boost your brain and heart health.
- Boost your immune system so you can fight diseases.
- Can help prevent cancer.
- Helps maintain healthy cholesterol.
- Helps maintain healthy blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
Other Ways to Help Your Body During Your Period and During Intense Sugar Cravings
- Increase your intake of carbohydrates especially complex carbs which can help you feel full longer and even satisfy your sweet tooth. Try and stay away from simple carbohydrates as they will make you feel hungry faster.
- Get out into nature for hikes, bike rides and runs. Be mindful of your surroundings and all the benefits that nature does to your body, mind, and soul. Sometimes a distraction is all you need to help you overcome cravings.
- Start taking a high quality multi vitamin and mineral supplementto help with any deficiency that your body may be needing. If you’re not sure which ones are best for you and your lifestyle, visit your local health food store and speak with someone there who can guide you in the right direction.
- It’s a good idea to keep track of your cycle so you can become more familiar and aware of your body and its own unique cycle. You will become more knowledgeable of what works for your body and what doesn’ You will notice patterns and be able to plan your diet based on the information that you are gathering. This can also be a benefit in knowing that what you are experiencing in cravings and mood is perfectly normal for you.
Having symptoms of PMS before your periods can have devastating effects on your mood and body.
Your body knows what it needs during these low times and can crave certain foods high in fats, sugar, and salt to keep symptoms at bay, so you can function normally.
There is a curious relationship between chocolate and periods. Many women crave chocolate due to its quick fix to your mood and even aches and pains.
Eating chocolate can have many benefits for your body especially during your menstrual cycle.
Chocolate is high in chemicals like serotonin, endorphins, magnesium, and antioxidants which can elevate your mood, ease menstrual symptoms and even put you in a state of euphoria.
It’s important to choose wisely when resorting to chocolate. High-quality dark chocolate which is at least 70% cocoa is the best choice.
It’s also important not to eat a large amount of dark chocolate as this can add too many calories to your diet. Quality over quantity goes a long way.
Read Alos: Can Uterus Really Grow During Menstruation?