Every month, millions of women worldwide experience their menstrual cycles, a natural process that heralds a rollercoaster of emotions, physical discomfort, and, sometimes, seemingly insatiable cravings for certain foods.
Among the top contenders in these cravings is chocolate.
For many women, this delicious treat becomes an essential companion during their periods, providing a much-needed source of comfort.
But have you ever wondered what makes chocolate such a popular craving during menstruation?
This post looks into the science behind these cravings, exploring the complex interplay of hormones, brain chemistry, and emotional well-being that drives women to seek out some yummy chocolate.
Join us as we unravel the mystery of chocolate cravings and reveal why this luscious indulgence has become a monthly must-have for so many women.
Why Do You Crave Chocolate On Your Period?
You crave chocolate during your period primarily due to hormonal fluctuations and emotional changes during menstruation.
The combination of serotonin and endorphin-boosting properties in chocolate, along with its magnesium content, helps to improve mood, alleviate physical discomfort, and satisfy cravings for high-calorie, sweet foods that arise during this time.
Is it Ok to Eat Chocolate During Your Period?
Yes, it is perfectly okay to eat chocolate during your period.
In moderation, chocolate can provide mood-enhancing benefits, satisfy cravings, and even help alleviate some physical discomforts associated with menstruation.
Opt for dark chocolate with a higher cocoa content, as it contains more antioxidants, magnesium, and fibre, which can help support overall health and well-being.
However, it is important not to overindulge, as excessive consumption of chocolate, especially those high in sugar and fat, can lead to unwanted weight gain and other health issues.
Remember – balance your chocolate intake with a healthy diet and lifestyle for the best results.
(You might also like to take a look at this posting asking: does chocolate help with period cramps?)
Can Chocolate Help with Period Symptoms?
Yes, chocolate can help with some period symptoms, particularly when it comes to mood and cravings.
The presence of compounds like phenylethylamine, tryptophan, and theobromine in chocolate can boost serotonin and endorphin levels, promoting a sense of happiness and well-being.
Additionally, the magnesium in chocolate may help reduce muscle cramps and fatigue, which are common symptoms during menstruation.
Opting for dark chocolate with a higher cocoa content is recommended, as it offers more health benefits and contains less sugar and fat compared to milk or white chocolate.
However, it’s important to remember that chocolate should be consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet to effectively manage period symptoms.
(You might also like to read this post asking the question: why do I crave chocolate in general?)
How to Control Chocolate Cravings
To control chocolate cravings, consider the following strategies:
- Practise mindful eating: Focus on your hunger signals and savour each bite of food, including chocolate, to promote a greater sense of satisfaction and prevent overeating.
- Opt for healthier chocolate: Choose dark chocolate with high cocoa content (70% or higher), as it contains less sugar and more beneficial nutrients, like antioxidants and magnesium. Eating a small portion can help satisfy cravings without overindulging.
- Maintain a balanced diet: Ensure your daily meals include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats to keep your body nourished and prevent nutrient deficiencies that can trigger cravings.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day, as dehydration can sometimes be mistaken for hunger or cravings.
- Manage stress: Practise stress-reduction techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises, as stress can contribute to emotional eating and cravings.
- Distract yourself: Engage in activities you enjoy, like hobbies or exercise, to take your mind off cravings.
- Get enough sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night, as sleep deprivation can increase cravings and hunger.
- Eat regular meals: Skipping meals can lead to increased hunger and cravings. Aim to eat balanced meals at regular intervals to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
- Opt for healthier alternatives: If you’re craving something sweet, consider satisfying that craving with naturally sweet options, like fruit or yoghurt with a drizzle of honey.
- Allow yourself occasional indulgences: Completely restricting chocolate or other treats can lead to stronger cravings and binge eating. Give yourself permission to enjoy a small portion of chocolate occasionally as part of a balanced diet.
(You might also like this post looking at the difference between cocoa and cacao).
What Chocolate is Good For Cravings?
The ideal chocolate for cravings is one made from high-quality ingredients and a high cocoa percentage.
Whitakers Chocolates is an excellent example of a chocolate producer that values quality, craftsmanship, and sustainability.
Our commitment to using top-quality ingredients, Fairtrade cocoa, and drawing on a wealth of chocolate-making experience, we create a range of delicious and responsibly-produced chocolates.
When it comes to satisfying cravings, opt for dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (55% or higher), as it contains less sugar, more beneficial nutrients like antioxidants and magnesium, and offers a richer flavour.
A small portion of Whitakers‘ high-quality dark chocolate can help you indulge in a guilt-free treat while keeping your cravings under control.
Remember, moderation is key, and enjoying a piece of fine chocolate from a reputable producer like Whitakers can elevate your chocolate experience and contribute to a healthier approach to managing cravings.
Here are just a few of our favourites:
- Dark chocolate and raspberry squares – each square is made using our signature 55% dark chocolate and is infused with real raspberry oil giving the chocolate a sweet and fruity taste. They are perfect as each square is individually wrapped, helping towards portion control.
- Sometimes the most simple treat is the best. Try our rich dark chocolate 90g bars. Again, these are perfect as a little treat to help get over those cravings.
- Dark chocolate and mint wafer thins – these are ideal to satisfy your chocolate craving. Each super thin dark chocolate wafer is flavoured with natural peppermint oil making it the perfect treat at the time of the month.
(You may also want to read this post asking the question: Can diabetics eat chocolate?)
A Note From a Female Chocolatier
As a female chocolatier, I completely understand the struggle of dealing with monthly chocolate cravings while being surrounded by this irresistible treat every single day.
Over the years, I’ve learned the importance of discipline and making the right choices for both my body and mind.
I may be biased, but Whitakers Chocolates has been my go-to brand for satisfying my cravings while still prioritising my health.
The commitment to quality ingredients, ethical sourcing, and a wide variety of delightful flavours has made them an ideal choice for me.
Most of the time, I find that their dark chocolate and mint combination hits the spot perfectly.
The rich dark chocolate provides a myriad of health benefits, while the refreshing mint adds an invigorating twist that leaves me feeling satisfied.
However, there are those months when I need a sweeter fix, and Whitakers has me covered.
Just a couple of squares of their smooth and creamy milk chocolate provide the perfect balance of sweetness and indulgence without going overboard.
As someone who knows the ins and outs of chocolate production, I can wholeheartedly recommend Whitakers Chocolates for the dedication to quality and variety.
I believe that making mindful choices and enjoying chocolate in moderation as part of a balanced lifestyle, can help you manage cravings while still experiencing the joy that chocolate brings.
Final Notes On Why You Crave Chocolate On Your Period?
Craving chocolate during your period can be attributed to a combination of hormonal fluctuations, emotional changes, and physiological factors.
Chocolate contains compounds like phenylethylamine, tryptophan, and theobromine, which contribute to boosting serotonin and endorphin levels, promoting a sense of happiness and well-being.
Furthermore, the magnesium present in chocolate can help alleviate muscle cramps and fatigue that are common during menstruation.
To manage these cravings in a healthy way, opt for dark chocolate with a higher cocoa content, as it offers more health benefits and contains less sugar and fat compared to milk or white chocolate.
Remember that moderation is key, and balancing your chocolate intake with a healthy diet and lifestyle can help you better cope with period-related cravings and symptoms.