Why Do Women Love Chocolate?
Do you crave chocolate on your cycle?
Helps You on Your Cycle
Hormones & Serotonin
"I need a heating pad, pain reliever, and... chocolate". The notorious matter of women craving chocolate during their time of month is due to the changes that take place then. For one, hormone levels shift, which can cause food cravings. Chocolate is a popular choice. Another factor is their levels of serotonin (neurotransmitter to do with your mood) dip down about a week to ten days before their cycle begins. Chocolate helps to increase those levels in your brain.
Women usually are low on magnesium and iron at this time too, which chocolate can provide. We tend to crave what we lack. So, fluctuating hormones, lowered serotonin, magnesium, iron, etc. = crave of chocolate.
Some Don't Believe in the Craving...
Well, they believe the craving is basically fake. Some researchers believe the idea of women claiming to need chocolate for their cycle is purely psychological and that our culture has created it into a completely normal and acceptable behavior, to indulge once a month. Maybe it's simply ingrained in us, almost like a trend we blindly follow. Studies done have shown that women in countries outside the US don't crave it as much as American women. Could it be that we've turned it into an excuse to consume it regularly? Hmm...
Boosts Your Mood Otherwise
Now, since chocolate can make women feel better during their cycle, it's fairly reasonable to assume that it can help at other times as well, and not just for women. Chocolate is a common food for people who emotionally eat because it increases serotonin, along with raising your blood sugar levels from the sugar and caffeine intake. If you find yourself craving it, it may be because your blood sugar levels are low. (Fun Fact: Dark chocolate has a low glycemic index and is a healthier alternative to milk chocolate when your blood sugar is low.) It gives you a sort of mood booster, but unfortunately, that boost doesn't last very long. If you eat too much, you may have a sugar high and then crash, thus making you feel worse.
Note: Although chocolate can make you feel better for the moment, it is of course not recommended as a method for happiness, as it's filled with sugars and fats that aren't healthy to consume regularly.
Some scientists believe that chocolate may indeed be an addicting substance. The following facts are just that, since it's still a debate whether it actually is addicting or not.
Chocolate contains alkaloid compounds; those alkaloid compounds are the same that alcohol contains. Another compound in chocolate? Anandamide, which is related to THC. Scientists think that this compound may have the ability to affect (stimulate) your brain the way that marijuana does. With that said, there's a real chance of chocolate being addictive.
Fun Fact: White chocolate doesn't contain as many of the "addicting" ingredients that milk chocolate and dark chocolate have.
It is Delicious
Personally, I think the majority of women, and maybe the majority of men as well, could argue that chocolate is good. Not exactly good for you, but it is really good tasting. Sweet, creamy, melts in your mouth. There are so many varieties and things you can do with it, from candy to cookies, cakes, puddings, chocolate milk, ice cream, etc.
This may not be the most valid point, and not very scientific (except maybe to your taste buds) but it's the most relatable to me, perhaps due to being female?
Chocolate can't pay back your debt, pass your exam, or buy the groceries, but it can give a little cheer and satisfy your sweet tooth. However, don't abuse it by eating large amounts. Aim for dark chocolate with fewer grams of sugar to be healthier. Everything in moderation. Don't rely on it; appreciate it for its magical abilities from time to time. Maybe look into purchasing a chocolate scented candle or chocolate flavored lip balm to keep your cravings at bay! :)
- Changes from monthly cycle can cause chocolate cravings, which may just be psychological
- Able to improve your mood when it's low, but don't use it as a constant pick-me-up
- Possibly addicting
- Eat in moderation
© 2014 H