If you crave chocolate during your period, then you likely know that you are not alone, because many your female friends may crave it during this time of the month, too! However, you likely wonder why women crave chocolate when they are menstruating. Is it just because women crave unhealthy foods during their periods, and chocolate is a popular favorite? Or is it due to hormones?
First, stop feeling guilty about eating chocolate during your period! Cocoa is actually very healthy and filled with antioxidants. Of course, candy bars contain other ingredients that aren’t quite as healthy as pure cocoa, but they are not the worst foods to eat as an occasional treat. If you want to satisfy your chocolate cravings with no guilt, choose dark chocolate or raw cacao nibs.
What Causes Cravings?
Monitoring the foods you crave and when you crave them is actually a great way to find out if you are not eating enough of a specific nutrient. For example, if you crave salty foods, then you may need more minerals in your diet, since salt is a vital mineral. Even more surprisingly, if you are craving sweets, it is often a signal that you are not eating enough protein.
Now that you know what causes some other cravings, read on to learn why about 50-percent of all women in America crave chocolate before their periods.
What Your Chocolate Cravings Really Mean
You are not eating enough magnesium
A 3.5-ounce bar of chocolate contains almost 60-percent of your RDA of magnesium! Who knew chocolate was so chock-full of this important mineral? This makes it no surprise it is a food so common to crave, because less than one-quarter of all Americans get enough magnesium in their daily diets.
While a magnesium deficiency can cause a wide array of health problems, one common magnesium deficiency symptom that women experience is a worsening of menstrual cramps.
So, that chocolate you eat during your period may actually be keeping those painful cramps away! Go ahead and eat a little chocolate during your period guilt-free, but be sure to work more magnesium-rich foods into your daily diet all month long.
You are not eating enough healthy fats
If you watch what you eat, like most women do, then you may avoid eating foods that are high in fat. While you are right that eating too much fat is bad for your health, eating too little can actually be almost as unhealthy as eating too much.
Chocolate is high in fat, so when your body is craving chocolate, it can also be due to a need for more healthy fat in your diet. An extremely low-fat diet can lead to infertility, so be sure to eat healthy sources of fat, such as avocados; coconut; nuts and nut butters; and olive oil daily.
You are feeling depressed
When you are feeling down or depressed, chocolate can help improve your mood due to a natural chemical it contains called phenethylamineome. This natural chemical naturally boosts your mood by triggering an endorphin release in your body and a serotonin surge in your brain.
If you suffer from PMS or just tend to feel blue before and during your period, then your body is craving chocolate to help boost your mood. Enjoy your chocolate if it does help you keep “the blues” away, but remember that if your depression is severe, it is best to visit a counselor or try other natural depression treatments, such as aromatherapy.
You are tired or lethargic
Hormonal fluctuations before and during a period can make many women feel tired. Eating chocolate provides you with a quick boost of energy due to not only the sugar it contains, but also the phenethylamineome in it and a small amount of caffeine.
If you want an energy boost during your period, consider exercising in the mornings or just taking a long walk in the sunshine.
Enjoy Your Chocolate!
Now that you know why women crave chocolate when they are on their periods, go ahead and enjoy a little dark chocolate or a glass of hot cocoa every month and don’t feel guilty about it! However, also be sure to up your magnesium and healthy fat intake and try the alternative ways to boost your mood and energy levels if you find yourself indulging in chocolate a little too much.