Your period is due in a few days and suddenly all you want is to indulge in a tasty sugary treat. Cravings are a common occurrence during periods, and chocolate seems to be at the top of the list.

In this blog, let’s talk about why chocolate during periods is a good idea and why it happens?

Why do you crave chocolates during periods?

Many people believe that it is due to hormonal imbalances that occur during the menstrual cycle.

There is no denying that hormonal changes cause you to crave foods that provide comfort. Your serotonin levels drop, while at the same time, your cortisol levels are steadily on the rise. This dangerous combination of a reduction of your feel-good hormone paired with the increase of your stress hormone leaves you feeling an intense need to eat chocolate in the days before and during your period.

At the same time, there is a drop in progesterone and oestrogen production. This makes you feel more hungry than usual, and leaves you reaching for comfort food containing carbs, sugar, and calcium.

Why Chocolate is a good option?

Chocolate contains a feel-good hormone, that is released by our nervous system when chocolate melts away into your mouth. A few substances found in chocolate that have physiological and psychological effects, include:

  • Caffeine
  • Theobromine
  • Anandamide
  • Phenylethylamine
  • Endorphins
  • Serotonin

Studies have shown that these compounds found in chocolate can elevate mood, energy levels and increase feelings of happiness.

It is essential to keep in mind that not all varieties of chocolate are created equal, and that some are superior to others when it comes to satisfying cravings and providing health benefits. Particularly, dark chocolate is lower in sugar and fat than milk chocolate and contains a higher percentage of cocoa solids. Numerous health benefits, including improved heart health, decreased inflammation, and enhanced brain function, have been demonstrated with dark chocolate.

Could chocolate have real benefits around the days leading to periods?

While it is important to indulge in moderation, there is no need to feel guilty about satisfying your chocolate cravings during your period. In fact, indulging in chocolate can provide several health benefits and help alleviate some of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle.

Improves mood: According to some studies, consuming chocolate can elevate mood and make you feel joyful and more content. Research found that women who ate dark chocolates during periods were less likely to report clinically-relevant depressive symptoms than those who ate no chocolate at all. This benefit may be attributed to serotonin, an antidepressant found in chocolates that can lift your spirits.

Reduces stress levels: Women often have a hard time keeping up with their responsibilities at work, at home, etc. during the days of periods.  This can be very stressful for them. This is where dark chocolate, in particular, comes into play because it lowers cortisol levels, a stress hormone, which makes them feel more at ease.

Reduces period pain: Dark chocolate is the most effective treatment for period cramps, which is the most painful ailment for every woman. Dark chocolate has antioxidants like phenol and flavonoids, minerals like potassium, calcium, and iron, a small amount of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, and a lot of magnesium. All of these things help keep your muscles from getting bloated, make you feel full, and lessen period cramps. So, don’t hesitate to have chocolates during periods.

Reduces inflammation: A study found some evidence that consumption of chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, may be associated with reduced odds of inflammation. Chocolate has the potential to assist in lowering inflammation and improving brain function.

Calms the mind: It also contains a lot of magnesium, which is calming, can help you fall asleep, and is sometimes called ‘nature’s tranquillizer.’ Therefore, consuming magnesium-rich chocolate may help you feel calmer and more relaxed.

Final Thoughts

It is worth a mention here that women do not only experience cravings for chocolate during their menstrual cycles. The hormonal changes that take place during the menstrual cycle can also be the cause of common cravings for salty and fatty foods. These sorts of cravings are many a times a consequence of the body’s requirement for energy and supplements and can be fulfilled by consuming rich food sources like natural products, vegetables, and lean protein.

In conclusion, food cravings during the menstrual cycle are a common occurrence, and indulging in chocolate can provide several health benefits and help alleviate some of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle. However, it is important to indulge in moderation and to choose healthy and nutrient-rich foods to satisfy your cravings. Understanding the reasons behind your food cravings can help you make better food choices and help you lead a healthier and fulfilling life.

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