Craving chocolate before or during the menstrual period is a common phenomenon experienced by some women, and it is often attributed to a combination of physiological and psychological factors. While not every woman experiences these cravings, several factors may contribute to the desire for chocolate during this time:
Fluctuations in hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone, during the menstrual cycle can influence mood and cravings. Chocolate contains compounds that may interact with neurotransmitters, affecting mood and emotions.
Chocolate is known to contain substances that can influence serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation, and its levels may change during the menstrual cycle.
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is a source of magnesium. Some women may experience a drop in magnesium levels before menstruation, and the body might crave chocolate as a way to replenish this essential mineral.
Chocolate consumption can lead to the release of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain associated with pleasure and reward. During the premenstrual phase, when mood swings and discomfort may occur, the desire for chocolate could be a subconscious way of seeking comfort.
Cultural and Psychological Factors:
Societal and cultural associations between chocolate and comfort or reward may contribute to cravings. Additionally, if a woman has a positive emotional connection to chocolate, she may be more likely to crave it during stressful or uncomfortable times.
Social and Environmental Influences:
Environmental factors, such as advertisements or social cues, may play a role in chocolate cravings. Seeing or smelling chocolate in certain settings can trigger the desire to consume it.
Calcium may also have a positive impact on reducing menstrual cramps in some women. Calcium is involved in muscle contraction and relaxation, and maintaining sufficient levels may contribute to muscle comfort.
Chocolate contains sugars and fats, which can provide a quick source of energy. The body may crave these nutrients as a response to changes in metabolism and energy needs during the menstrual cycle.
To help alleviate chocolate cravings, choose more complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and legumes Not only are they healthier, they also help you to feel fuller, regulate your blood sugar levels and alleviate cramps.
Foods rich in magnesium are highly beneficial. Leafy greens are an excellent choice. Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, are high in vitamins and minerals that are lost during the menstrual phase of your cycle. Staying well hydrated is also extremely important.
It's important to note that while these factors contribute to chocolate cravings, individual experiences can vary. Cravings are complex and can be influenced by a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors.
Here's some simple recipe for low-calorie chocolate treat.
Low Calorie Homemade Chocolate
425 g organic peruvian cacao nibs
75g granualted Stevia
Roast your cocoa nibs in the oven at 150ºC/300ºF for 10-15 minutes.
Add the cocoa nibs and sugar to your blender or high powered food processor and begin to blend. At first you’ll end up with a chocolate paste.
Continue blending until you start to obtain a liquid, melted chocolate.
Pour the chocolate into molds and allow to cool.
Remove the cooled chocolate from the molds and enjoy your homemade chocolate.
Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries:
Fresh strawberries or any fruit you enjoy.
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (70% cocoa or higher) or homemade chocolate
1 teaspoon coconut oil (optional, for smoother consistency)
Toppings (optional): chopped nuts, shredded coconut, or a sprinkle of sea salt
Wash and Dry Strawberries:
Rinse the strawberries under cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel. Make sure they are completely dry as this helps the chocolate adhere better.
Melt the Dark Chocolate:
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the dark chocolate chips in 20-second intervals, stirring in between. Add coconut oil if desired for a smoother consistency.
Hold each strawberry by the stem and dip it into the melted chocolate, ensuring it's coated evenly. Allow excess chocolate to drip off.
Place on Parchment Paper:
Place the chocolate-covered strawberries on a parchment paper-lined tray. This prevents them from sticking and makes for easy cleanup.
Add Toppings (Optional):
While the chocolate is still wet, you can sprinkle chopped nuts, shredded coconut, or a touch of sea salt on top for added flavor and texture.
Chill in the Refrigerator:
Place the tray of chocolate-covered strawberries in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes or until the chocolate hardens.
Once the chocolate is set, your low-calorie fruit, they are ready to be enjoyed! Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
Cocoa Spinach and Fruit Smoothie Recipe:
Creating a chocolate spinach and fruit smoothie can be a delicious and nutritious way to incorporate greens into your diet. Here's a simple recipe for a chocolate spinach and fruit smoothie:
1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves (washed)
1 Tablespoon Macha powder
1/2 ripe banana (frozen for a creamier texture)
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries (such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
1 tablespoon Organic Peruvian Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons honey or Stevia (optional, for sweetness)
Ice cubes (optional, for a colder smoothie)
Wash the fresh spinach leaves and gather all the ingredients.
Blend Greens and Liquid:
In a blender, add the fresh spinach leaves and almond milk. Blend until the spinach is well incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
Add Fruits and Cocoa:
Add the frozen banana, mixed berries, cocoa powder, and almond butter to the blender.
If you prefer a sweeter smoothie, add honey or stevia to taste.
Blend again until all ingredients are well combined.
If the smoothie is too thick, you can add more almond milk or water until you reach your desired consistency. If it's too thin, you can add additional frozen fruits or ice cubes.
Blend Until Smooth:
Blend all the ingredients until you achieve a creamy and smooth texture.
Pour the chocolate spinach and fruit smoothie into a glass.
Garnish with additional berries, a sprinkle of cocoa powder, or a few slices of banana for presentation.
Sip and enjoy your delicious and nutrient-packed chocolate spinach and fruit smoothie!
Feel free to customize the recipe based on your taste preferences. You can experiment with different fruits, adjust sweetness levels, or add protein powder for an extra boost.
This smoothie is a great way to sneak in greens while enjoying a tasty and satisfying treat.
This recipe allows you to enjoy the rich flavor of dark chocolate while keeping the calorie content relatively low.
Adjust the portion sizes and toppings to suit your taste preferences.