Women and chocolate cravings go together. After all, women have been known for enjoying sweets, specifically of the chocolate nature, more than their male counterparts. Although studies have shown that both men and women can have chocolate cravings, women are more likely to experience the need for an immediate fix!
To better understand women and chocolate cravings, check out the information below. And, if you deal with intense cravings for chocolate, you can also discover some helpful tips below as well.
Women and Chocolate Cravings: The Reasons Behind the Cravings
There are several reasons that people crave chocolate, especially women. Some of the reasons include the impact this sweet comfort food has on blood sugar, menstrual symptoms, and serotonin levels.
Effects on Blood Sugar
Chocolate can also have a positive impact on blood sugar levels. A person whose blood sugar is low or has experienced a sudden drop will often crave chocolate. Since chocolate contains both caffeine and sugar, when consumed it naturally raises your blood sugar ratio. Furthermore, dark chocolate can be used to stabilize blood sugar, and is commonly used because it is also low on the glycemic index. This isn’t the same for milk chocolate. Milk chocolate doesn’t contain the same percentage of cocoa as dark chocolate and has a lower impact. Milk chocolate has higher percentages of fat and sugar.
A Boost in Energy
Some women also crave chocolate in between meals or when they are feeling tired, as it provides an instant shot of energy and sugar because of the caffeine it contains. It can help treat both irritability and shakiness experienced from caffeine withdrawals.
Relief from Menstruation Symptoms
Plus, chocolate can also help relieve menstrual symptoms. Many women begin having chocolate cravings 7-12 days before their next menstrual cycle is due. This is likely due to a deficiency in minerals such as iron and magnesium which can be found in a variety of foods including chocolate. During this time period, women also experience fluctuating hormone levels which cause cravings. The reason most women choose chocolate is because it does contain iron and magnesium which tend to decrease before menstrual cycles but also because it is a comfort food.
It Tastes Great and Makes You Feel Good!
Chocolate has a rich taste, and a smooth texture due to the fat content which provides good orosensory effects as they eat it. In other words, it feels good in their mouth.
Another reason women crave chocolate is due to the chemical reaction they get from it. Chocolate just plain makes women feel happy! It contains tryptophan that increases the release of serotonin in the brain which in turn gives women a rush that enhances their mood.
Prior to menstruation, like magnesium and iron, serotonin levels also suffer, which generally will make women more moody than usually. This is one symptom that can be treated with chocolate.
Most women who are emotional eaters will turn to chocolate for comfort not only before menstruation, but also when they are feeling depressed or anxious because of its mood boosting properties. Chocolate also contains phenethylamine which can increase feelings such as love and passion.
Women and Chocolate Cravings: The Drawbacks of Eating Too Much of It
Like most drugs, chocolate can also have side effects.
One of the biggest is weight gain. Chocolate contains high percentages of sugar and fat content, so it should be consumed in moderation. Furthermore, instead of milk chocolate, women who are experiencing cravings should eat dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate contains flavonoids that increase blood flow, which can help lower blood pressure. Chocolate also contains theobromine which is the caffeine-like substance that speeds up your metabolic processes. These ingredients can cause chocolate to be habit forming, especially because of the addictive compound called anandamine that stimulates the brain.
If you are addicted to chocolate or depend on it to decrease anxiety or premenstrual symptoms, you should be sure to eat chocolate that has the highest percentage of actual cocoa (dark chocolate), which is the ingredient that contains flavonoids. Furthermore, eat smaller amounts, decreasing the amount you consume gradually.
Lastly, although chocolate doesn’t have a high percentage of health benefits, indulge every now and again to treat yourself. This doesn’t mean go buy a bag of chocolate kisses and eat the whole thing, but one or two certainly won’t hurt!
Women and Chocolate Cravings: Here’s How to Curb Those Cravings
Even though women and chocolate cravings seem to go hand in hand, there are steps that you can take to curb your cravings if you don’t want to constantly feel like you have to have some chocolate to feel good.
- According to Today, when you are feeling a craving for chocolate, go for a walk for 15 minutes. Or, do any form of exercise, for that matter, for just 15 minutes. This simple step can keep you from overdoing it by eating too much chocolate.
- If exercise isn’t your thing, maybe there is some other way that you can distract your mind from the chocolate cravings. Perhaps calling a friend for a few minutes will do the trick. Or, maybe there is something on your to-do list that you can knock out instead of stopping to have some chocolate.
- Another step that you can take involves having just a little bit of chocolate in another food or drink. For example, you might add a bit of cocoa to your coffee to get that chocolate flavor without all of the sugar that comes with eating a chocolate bar. Or, if you’re having mixed nuts with dried fruit, mix in some dark chocolate chips.
Women and Chocolate Cravings: You Can Gain Control!
If you’re a woman, you know that those chocolate cravings can come on really strong, especially during certain times of the month. But this does not mean that you have to give in to them every time. Instead, by taking some simple, smart steps, you can overcome your cravings and maintain the right balance between indulging in your favorite sweets and keeping your body slim and healthy.