Chocolate. Most of us can’t get enough of it. But have you noticed you suddenly CRAVE it when it’s your time of the month? Well you’re not alone. This is all due to our hormones changing. The drop in blood sugar levels and serotonin levels (the happy chemical) causes us to crave sugar.
PMS symptoms including cravings, tend to start around a week to ten days before the start of your period.
Don’t feel down if you ‘give in’ to the cravings though. As long as you are eating in moderation, it’s ok to listen to how your body is feeling, and you may even be needing the extra calories. Anyway, thankfully chocolate, especially dark (again, in moderation), has its health benefits!
Dark chocolate is filled with:
Magnesium: Studies suggest that eating between 40–120 grams of dark chocolate daily during your period may help reduce pain. This is probably because dark chocolate is rich in magnesium, which can relax muscles and ease aches. It also can help with sleep.
Zinc: Boosts immune health.
Iron: You lose iron through blood on your period so it is important to keep your iron levels up. This prevents fatigue and dizziness and helps your body to grow.
Phosphorus: Important for the growth, maintenance, and repair of all tissues and cells as well as healthy teeth and bones.
Copper: Your body uses it for forming red blood cells and keeping your bones, nerves, blood vessels and immune system healthy. Each ounce of 70 percent dark chocolate provides you with 0.5 milligrams of copper, which is 25 percent of the daily value of 2 milligrams for people following a 2,000-calorie diet.
Antioxidants such as Flavonoids: Lower bad cholesterol levels, help protect skin from UV rays, boost gut health, helps prevent inflammation, improve brain function (bye brain fog), boost your immune system and cardiovascular health (helps blood flow).
Theobromine: Gives you more energy, makes you more alert and enhances mood. Similarly, serotonin is released which makes you feel happier.
So next time you reach for that chocolate bar, let all the guilt melt away ;)