Why Do Women Crave Chocolate?

Kids are in love with chocolate, but adults enjoy it as well. Women in particular have serious chocolate cravings, which makes many people wonder why. So many factors play a role here – this may be due to stress, low blood sugar, or hormonal changes that occur just before a woman's menstrual cycle. Let's find out more about why women find it difficult to resist the temptation of eating chocolates.

Why Do Women Crave Chocolate?

It is possible to list a number of reasons why men and women in particular crave chocolate. Here are some of the most common explanations:

1. Low Blood Sugar Levels

Do you reach out for a piece of dark chocolate because you tend to feel irritable, moody, and shaky between the meals? That may be because your blood sugar levels go down. Dark chocolate is not high on the glycemic index and works quite efficiently to stabilize your blood sugar levels. That hit of sugar you get from chocolate makes you have more and more of it.

2. Lowered Serotonin Levels

Your brain releases the neurotransmitter serotonin that makes you feel good. The levels of this mood-boosting neurotransmitter come down about a week prior to your menstrual periods, and this is usually the time when you are going to crave for chocolate. Similarly, your serotonin levels deplete when you are under stress. That probably explains why women and even men pick a piece of chocolate when they are under stress.

3. Hormonal Changes and Menstruation

Hormonal changes that take place just before and during menstruation can make a woman crave for all kinds of foods. Some experts are of the view that many menstruating women think they need high fat foods during that time of the month, and their obvious choice is chocolate, which provides them with enough fat and sugar. It means that chocolate indulgence during menstruation is more of a psychological thing than anything else.

4. Chocolate and Magnesium

Chocolate improves mood and PMS symptoms because it contains trace minerals, like magnesium, the levels of which may go down during menstruation. Dark chocolate may have up to 327mg of magnesium in every 100g serving. Many women say they do not have to deal with serious PMS symptoms if they increase their magnesium intake through vegetables and other food.

5. Chocolate Addiction

Why do women crave chocolate? One explanation could be that some women simply have chocolate addiction. Experts have found that the alkaloid compounds found in alcohol are also found in chocolate, and they make chocolate addictive. Some scientists believe that chocolate can stimulate your brain like marijuana mainly because of the presence of a compound called anandamide. This explains why you would crave more once you start eating chocolate.

6. Chocolate and Antioxidants

You cannot deny the benefits you get from antioxidants, and this often serves as a trigger for women to introduce more chocolate in their lives. They believe they are getting more antioxidants by eating chocolate and this helps them get anti-aging benefits as well. While it is true that dark chocolate is a good source of antioxidants like flavanols, you get nothing from white chocolate. But again, you do not need to eat a lot of it to get the benefits of antioxidants. You can get similar benefits by eating other foods like astaxanthin, phytoplankton, and organic berries.

Is It Bad?

Why do women crave chocolate? You already have some logical explanation to this question, but this leads to another question, is it bad to include chocolate in your diet? The truth is that overindulgence of anything is bad, and chocolate is not an exception here. Chocolate is packed with sugar and should be avoided if you have other risk factors making you vulnerable to diabetes, obesity, etc. Even the finest chocolate brands offer chocolates loaded with fructose and other harmful sweeteners.

How to Beat Chocolate Cravings

Once you understand you need to get over your chocolate addiction, it becomes easier to move in the right direction. Here are some steps to take:

  • Stay active: You need to exercise regularly even if it means a slow 20-minute walk. Overtime, this will help you resist the temptation of eating more and more chocolate.
  • Try anti-chocolate Foods: Many foods do not go well with chocolate, like an aniseed ball or a pickled onion. Anything with a strong, distinct taste will keep you from having more chocolate.
  • Find a hobby: Hobbies can help keep you distracted for some time. Doing simple things like paper crafts cross-stitching, etc., can distract you and keep your hands occupied.
  • Throw it away: It may sound difficult but you have to bin it to keep it out of your life. You are only going to put in extra pounds by eating chocolate, so the right place for that bar is in the trash.
  • Chew gum: Instead of having some more chocolate, just consider chewing gum, which will keep you occupied until your cravings settle.
  • Store it carefully: It means you should keep chocolate in a way that you have to do some effort every time you crave for it. Stand on a chair and put it over a high cupboard. When it is difficult to get to your favorite chocolate, you will think twice before having it again.
  • Limit your intake of chocolate: It may be a bit difficult to eliminate chocolate completely from your life, so you can consider limiting the amount you eat. The next time you crave for chocolate, just go have a mug of light hot chocolate or try chocolate flavored popcorn. The taste of chocolate is usually enough to satisfy your cravings without causing any damage to your health. 
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