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Why do we crave chocolate during our period?

broken chocolate with title reading "why do we crave chocolate during our period?" 'period cravings'

Your period might come with some unexpected side effects: We’ve all been caught out by those pesky period cravings and the overwhelming urge to eat all chocolate within a mile radius…

Period cravings happen to the best of us. In fact, these cravings are a very common occurrence. Ask your friends, sisters, mothers and you will have an epiphany; You are not alone.

A woman on a mission

The desire for something sweet or smothered in chocolate can be overwhelming. When I get these cravings, they feel completely out of character because I don’t usually have a sweet tooth. Give me a savoury snack over a sugary treat any day. On the few days before that time of the month however I have an urge to eat anything sugary. No cupboard is safe, no draw left unopened, I will actively hunt down treats.

I heard a similar story from a friend. She once confessed to eating her boyfriend’s chocolate birthday cake in one sitting to satisfy her premenstrual sugar cravings! If you too are the same, then you understand the feeling.

The proof is in the pudding

The idea of craving sugar before your period may sound like a cliché but studies support this theory. A study published in the Annals of Endocrinology revealed that decreased serotonin levels can occur before and during your period.

Serotonin is often referred to as the ‘happy hormone.’ When levels are low you can feel irritable, tired and a bit blue. Changes to hormonal levels can impact your serotonin levels which is why this is linked to menstruation. Low levels of serotonin can leave your body craving sugary food. Side note, it can also make you crave carbohydrates. Carbs stimulate serotonin production too!

Intense chocolate or sugar cravings can also be linked to a hormonal imbalance and magnesium deficiency. If you think you have a deficiency then add magnesium rich foods into your diet such as avocado.

How to handle those pesky period cravings

First things first, you should never come down hard on yourself for indulging your cravings. No matter your diet or eating regime, you deserve to indulge yourself occasionally.

To mix things up next time you crave chocolate, get a guilt-free sugar fix by trying cacao powder. Cacao is the raw, unroasted cocoa bean that is packed with antioxidants and key minerals. I love adding it to almond milk to make delicious chocolate milk. Check out our craving curbing Chocolate Milkshake and Hot Chocolate recipes here. For an on-the go chocolate fix, try dark chocolate bars (super high in magnesium) or if you are a vegan opt for raw chocolate bars!

Chocolate containing 85% cocoa has more serotonin. Dark chocolate often has a higher level of cocoa than milk chocolate. It’s therefore a great choice when you crave chocolate before/during your period.

Got a craving?

What are your go-to period cravings? Let us know over on Instagram @totmorganic

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