Why do we crave chocolate on our period?

Why do we crave chocolate on our period?

Got a hankering for some chocolate during your period? You’re not alone! It’s a common phenomenon for many people across generations and cultures. We’ve all seen it; from personal anecdotes to those romantic comedies, the craving for your favorite dark bar during menses has been depicted and discussed extensively.

Hey, it's Biology

One of the main explanations for craving chocolate during menstruation is its connection with the complex interplay of hormones within the body. Throughout the menstrual cycle, hormonal fluctuations, specifically changes in progesterone and estrogen levels, affect neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. Chocolate contains combinations such as theobromine, anandamide, and phenylethylamine, which are known to promote the release of these neurotransmitters. The feel-good hormone, serotonin, can assist with mood regulation, and ease symptoms of PMS. Consequently, eating chocolate, (which may improve serotonin levels provisionally), may help lessen mood swings and/or emotional discord related to menstruation.

Psychological Links

Outside biological factors, psychological influences may also impact the craving for chocolate during your period. Cultural impacts play a role in shaping our feelings towards food, specifically during times of emotional exposure. Chocolate has long been connected with relaxation, excess, and incentive in many societies. From childhood rewards to romantic tokens, chocolate can suggest affection and emotional security. Therefore, during menstruation, when people may feel elevated emotional feelings or anxieties, turning to chocolate may grant a feeling of familiarity and consolation. The act of indulging in chocolate may trigger positive memories or associations, offering temporary relief from menstrual discomfort and emotional pang.

Nutritional Considerations

Aside from the biological and psychological influences that could contribute to chocolate cravings during your period, there are nutritional issues at play. Chocolate, specifically dark chocolate, contains a variety of nutrients like magnesium, antioxidants, and iron which could be reduced during menses due to blood deficit. Magnesium is a well-known alleviator of muscle and menstrual cramping and all-over tension. The body's increased need for these nutrients through menstruation might influence cravings for chocolate as a means of refilling fundamental nutrients and returning overall balance.

Cultural and Social Effects

Social and cultural dynamics influence our dietary preferences and cravings, including those experienced during menses. Unfortunately, in some societies, conversations about menstruation remain taboo, leading to notions of shame and embarrassment. As a consequence, people may yearn for comfort foods like chocolate (discreetly) as a way of self-care and emotional reinforcement. Additionally, media and marketing portrayals often represent chocolate intake as a model of pleasure and self-care, reinforcing its relationship with relaxation and desire.

The desire for chocolate during menstruation is a comprehensive phenomenon wrought by biological, nutritional, psychological, and social aspects. While hormonal fluctuations might prompt physiological cravings, chocolate's correlation with relief and pleasure also plays a noteworthy role in fulfilling emotional desires during menstruation. Recognizing and realizing these considerations may help people pilot their cravings more consciously and make educated choices during this time of the month. Moreover, addressing stigmas surrounding menstruation and advocating open conversations can empower people to prioritize physical and emotional well-being without judgement or embarrassment. Utilizing the best menstrual cup and best period underwear can also make a difference when it comes to personal comfort. And at the end of the day, eat chocolate ya’ll.

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