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It’s no coincidence that women have a special love for chocolate, especially a few days before and during menstruation, want to know why?
The answer lies in hormones
- During Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) estrogens rises and progesterone falls.
- Serotonin (aka the feel-good hormone) levels also drop.
- Cortisol (stress hormone) levels increase.
- Levels of Iron and Magnesium also diminish.
- And it lowers sugar levels.
All these changes cause; headaches, anxiety, energy decline, mood swings, and cravings, particularly for chocolate. In fact, according to this study in the journal Annales D’Endocrinologie, in the days leading up to menstruation, women can take in up to an extra 500 extra.
Chocolate- the perfect comfort food
A woman’s urge for chocolate makes perfect sense, as it has everything needed to counteract the roller coaster of all these hormonal changes. Chocolate provides the body with energy, improves our mood, is calming, and most of all delicious.
Beware- not all chocolate is created equal. There is a big difference between chocolate and cocoa. Cocoa is what we really want and what is truly helpful- not the commercialized chocolate bars that we often see and think of at the supermarket, they are packed with sugar and sweeteners. Sugar is bad for us in general but this is even more true during a woman’s cycle as it intensifies inflammation and fluid retention.
Choose a naturally pure, unsweetened, unprocessed, gluten-free, lactose-free cocoa, and all of the above-mentioned issues will be averted. In fact, it will actually help alleviate symptoms thanks to all its rich properties. Let’s take a look at cocoa benefits for women:
- lowers cortisol, decreasing stress levels. According to this study, 40 gr. of cocoa per day for two weeks reduced cortisol levels in the sample subjects.
- Rich in iron, it helps with the loss (and sometimes excess) of this mineral that many go through during their cycle. As iron levels steadily climb, women feel more energized and eager to do things.
Did you know that 100 g. of cocoa contains 11.90 mg of iron, while other iron-rich foods such as meat only contain 1.66 mg per 100 grams?!
- Its high magnesium content helps relax and rest the muscles of the uterine wall, which relieves cramping.
- The potassium in cocoa balances fluid levels, which is especially useful during this time when women often suffer from swelling and fluid retention.
- Boost energy levels which help to thwart the physical wear and tear of menstruation thanks to its healthy fats, caffeine, and theobromine components.
- Contains flavonoids: they have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that regulate blood flow and reduce cramps.
- Assists in producing serotonin and therefore improves our mood. So, for any of the doubters out there, there are even studies to back this up! 😉
- Good for the skin- contrary to popular belief, pure and natural cocoa does not cause acne (sugar does). What it actually does is brighten the skin as it is a natural detoxifier.
Chocolicius- a craving you can satisfy without remorse
These chocolate bars have nothing but good things in them. There is absolutely no trace of sugar or sweeteners; they are only made with natural cocoa. In addition, you can choose from 4 varieties, each one more irresistible than the last: Dark cocoa, Orange and Ginger, Raspberry and cocoa nibs, with Milk.
Here are some divine recipes where you can take full advantage of this scrumptious ingredient during your cycle, or better yet the whole month- why not?!