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Why do you crave CHOCOLATE before and during your period?

sugen på choklad innan och under mens

Craving chocolate before and during our period has probably been experienced by all of us at some point. But what actually causes it? Could there be a natural reason? Yes, it seems so! It is because the cocoa, which is the main ingredient in chocolate, contains several nutrients that have actually been shown to relieve and prevent various PMS symptoms such as sore breasts, sweet tooth and cramps. In addition, cocoa contains the amino acid tryptophan, which can increase our feelings of well-being. So maybe it's not so strange that the body "craves" this in phase 3.

blissful brownie womensync

Can cocoa reduce PMS symptoms?

Yes, the fact is that it can actually be so. Much of the research that has been carried out has been done on raw cocoa, which contains several of the nutrients that have been shown to be able to support the body during the pre-menstrual phase, namely:

Magnesium which can have a calming effect and help with PMS symptoms such as sore breasts, sweet tooth and cramps.
Zinc which can help with menstrual cramps – many women who have PMS symptoms have low levels of zinc

Potassium , which can affect insulin and blood sugar in a positive way - in phase three we are often more sensitive to fluctuations in blood sugar.

In addition, cocoa contains the amino acid tryptophan , which affects the brain's production of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which are two important hormones that affect feelings of well-being and happiness. Serotonin also regulates our sex drive. Cocoa also contains antioxidants that protect against oxidative stress.

Cocoa can thus contribute both nutrients and effects that make the soul rejoice, which can have a positive effect on the body. When we really enjoy what we eat, the parasympathetic nervous system is also activated, which means that the body is at rest and not stressed. This, in turn, causes the stress hormones in the body to drop and our feel-good hormone oxytocin increases, which brings with it several health benefits. In other words, it is perhaps completely natural that many of us crave all things chocolate in phase 3 and the beginning of phase 1 .

Does that mean it's "good" to eat chocolate before your period?

The answer is that it depends on the type of chocolate. It is important to know that while cocoa can have positive effects on PMS , sugar can have negative effects on PMS . Therefore, it is very best to eat raw cocoa in combination with good fats that help with satiety (so you quench cravings) and as little sugar as possible.

What type of chocolate should you choose?

A chocolate cake with a high cocoa content made from raw cocoa can be great as the nutrients are preserved in the chocolate and the cocoa is not mixed with sugar. Baking your own delicious recipe with raw cocoa and good fats can also be a good option (see suggestions for our chocolate favorites below). On the other hand, a chocolate cake with a low cocoa content and high sugar content is likely to have a less positive effect.

It's no wonder, however, that a lovely soft chocolate cake is all we want in phase 3 when our feel-good hormone (serotonin) can drop, causing our reward system to seek quick kicks to feel better. There, the sugar (which gives us a direct boost of well-being) together with the cocoa (which can affect our sense of well-being) can be a hard combination to resist.

What does the sweet tooth before menstruation actually signal?

When we get these cravings, the question is what does it actually signal? The cravings we experience during the month can be important information from the body that we need to add some form of nutrition. Having a big sweet tooth in phase 3 before menstruation can be a sign that the body lacks energy or nutrition in some form. To reduce the risk of a sweet tooth, our best tip is to make sure you eat enough protein and fat in your meals. Protein and fat contribute to satiety for longer, and help blood sugar to remain stable. It is important to also ensure that you eat nutritious food so that you get all the nutrients the body needs so that you do not have nutritional deficiencies. Constantly feeling hungry or cravings can be an indication that you are not getting enough of something, so try adding more protein and fat to your meals and see if you notice a difference.

Remember that it is also natural to feel an increased hunger during phase 3 ( here you can read more about increased hunger before your period ) so don't be afraid to eat your fill even if it may mean "more" food than during previous phases of the menstrual cycle!

Recipes to support chocolate cravings and cravings

The basis for balanced hormones is always to eat real food and get a variety of nutrients, high-quality fats, protein and carbohydrates. But during phase three (before menstruation) it's like both body and soul can need something really good and chocolaty. Our best tip is therefore to stock up on snacks that are magically good at the same time as they are filled with nutrition and good fats that the body needs. Here are our recipe favorites when the chocolate craving appears:

Incredible chocolate and licorice balls
Ultimate snickers for cravings
Raw chocolate and orange fudge perfect during periods

Source list:

Magnesium and PMS

Boyle, NB., Lawton, C. and Dye, L., 2017. The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress—A Systematic Review. Nutrients , [online] 9(5), p.429.
Facchinetti, F., Borella, P., Sances, G., Fioroni, L., Nappi, R. and Genazzani, A., 1991. Oral magnesium successfully relieves premenstrual mood changes. Obstetrics And Gynecology, [online] 78(2), pp.177–181.

Facchinetti, F., Sances, G., Borella, P., Genazzani, A. and Nappi, G., 1991. Magnesium Prophylaxis of Menstrual Migraine: Effects on Intracellular Magnesium. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain , [online] 31(5), pp.298-301.

Facchinetti, F., Sances, G., Borella, P., Genazzani, A. and Nappi, G., 1991. Magnesium Prophylaxis of Menstrual Migraine: Effects on Intracellular Magnesium. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain , [online] 31(5), pp.298-301.

Rosenstein, D., Elin, R., Hosseini, J., Grover, G. and Rubinow, D., 1994. Magnesium measures across the menstrual cycle in premenstrual syndrome. Biological Psychiatry , [online] 35(8), pp.557-561.

Seifert, B., Wagler, P., Dartsch, S., Schmidt, U. and Nieder, J., 1989. Magnesium--a new therapeutic alternative in primary dysmenorrhea. Zentralbl Gynakol , [online] 111(11), pp.755-60.

Simental-Mendía, L., Sahebkar, A., Rodríguez-Morán, M. and Guerrero-Romero, F., 2016. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on the effects of magnesium supplementation on insulin sensitivity and glucose control. Pharmacological Research , [online] 111, pp.272-282.

Walker, A., De souza, M., Vickers, M., Abeyasekera, S., Collins, M. and Trinza, L., 1998. Magnesium Supplementation Alleviates Premenstrual Symptoms of Fluid Retention. Journal of Women's Health , [online] 7(9), pp.1157-1165.

Zinc and PMS

Chuong, C. and Dawson, E., 1994. Zinc and copper levels in premenstrual syndrome*. Fertility and Sterility , [online] 62(2), pp.313-320.

Sangestani G., Khatiban, M., Marci, R. and Piva, I., 2015. The Positive Effects of Zinc Supplements on the Improvement of Primary Dysmenorrhea and Premenstrual Symptoms: A Double-blind, Randomized, Controlled Trial. Journal of Midwifery & Reproductive Health, [online] 3(3), pp.378-384.

Siahbazi, S., Behboudi-Gandevani, S., Moghaddam-Banaem, L. and Montazeri, A., 2017. Effect of zinc sulfate supplementation on premenstrual syndrome and health-related quality of life: Clinical randomized controlled trial. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Research , [online] 43(5), pp.887-894

Tian, ​​X. and Diaz, F., 2012. Zinc Depletion Causes Multiple Defects in Ovarian Function during the Periovulatory Period in Mice. Endocrinology , [online] 153(2), pp.873-886.

Zekavat, O., Karimi, M., Amanat, A. and Alipour, F., 2015. A randomized controlled trial of oral zinc sulphate for primary dysmenorrhoea in adolescent females. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology , [online] 55(4), pp.369-373.

Potassium and PMS

Ghanbari, Z., Haghollahi, F., Shariat, M., Foroshani, A. and Ashrafi, M., 2009. Effects of Calcium Supplement Therapy in Women with Premenstrual Syndrome. Taiwanese Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology , [online] 48(2), pp.124-129.

Masoumi, S., Ataollahi, M. and Oshvandi, K., 2016. Effect of Combined Use of Calcium and Vitamin B6 on Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms: a Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of Caring Sciences , [online] 5(1), pp.67-73.

Muneyyirci-Delale, O., 1998. Sex Steroid Hormones Modulate Serum Ionized Magnesium and Calcium Levels Throughout the Menstrual Cycle in Women. Fertility and Sterility , [online] 69(5), pp.958-962.

Penland, J. and Johnson, P., 1993. Dietary calcium and manganese effects on menstrual cycle symptoms. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology , [online] 168(5), pp.1417-1423.

Shobeiri, F., Araste, F., Ebrahimi, R., Jenabi, E. and Nazari, M., 2017. Effect of calcium on premenstrual syndrome: A double-blind randomized clinical trial. Obstetrics & Gynecology Science , [online] 60(1), p.100.

Thys-Jacobs, S., 1995. Calcium-regulating hormones across the menstrual cycle: evidence of a secondary hyperparathyroidism in women with PMS. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism , [online] 80(7), pp.2227-2232.

Thys-Jacobs, S., McMahon, D. and Bilezikian, J., 2007. Cyclical Changes in Calcium Metabolism across the Menstrual Cycle in Women with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism , [online] 92(8), pp.2952-2959.


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