If you were to describe the perfect period comfort basket, it would be incomplete without a big bar of chocolate. Won’t you agree? Just the thought of being snuggled in a blanket, bingeing on Gilmore Girls, and biting into a piece of rich, dark chocolate is making us crave one. But what makes this craving even stronger during periods?
Well, according to psychologists, the relationship of comfort food cravings to menstrual cycles is due to a combination of physiology, psychology and cultural conditioning. It’s not always advisable to give in to these cravings, especially if it’s for unhealthy foods such as those containing excessive caffeine or saturated fats. But dark chocolates, since most of them contain 50 to 90% cocoa solids, cocoa butter and sugar, are an acceptable indulgence. Just watch out for the sugar content.
Dark Chocolate v/s Milk Chocolate
It’s important that you know that when it comes to chocolates, we have no biases. Milk chocolates are an instant mood-lifter any day. But when it’s a question of what’s healthier, dark chocolate definitely has an upper hand. Primarily because milk chocolate contains less cocoa beans than dark chocolate, and is often diluted with milk solids, lots of sugar, and cream. Cocoa content is significant here, because it is a fabulous source of flavonoids – a special class of antioxidants that makes chocolates such a tasty and healthy treat.
Is chocolate good for periods?
- Stress Buster
In simple terms, dark chocolate reduces the levels of stress hormone (Cortisol) in your body, and increases the levels of happy hormones (Serotonin and Endorphin). And since stress can have a negative impact on your period cycle, there is an added advantage to indulge in one.
- Relieves menstrual cramps
Dark chocolate contains vitamin A, B1, C, D and E. In addition, it also contains antioxidants of phenol and flavonoids, rich in minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, a little omega 3 and 6, and high magnesium which can reduce menstrual and premenstrual pain in women. Plus, the potassium in dark chocolates relieves you from retaining water and feeling bloated.
- Helps with mood swings
If PMS sends you on the dark path of mood swings, beat it with some chocolate. Since dark chocolate helps stimulate the production of endorphins and serotonin, it can help elevate your mood and manage mood-swings. Although, it is not advisable to make a habit of finding comfort in food and consuming dark chocolate every time you feel low.
- Gives you a boost in energy
Pick up a dark chocolate when you are feeling low on energy and just want to curl up in bed (especially during periods). It is a natural energy elevator that contains caffeine, and will increase your endorphins to give you a quick boost. The energizing and mood-boosting powers of dark chocolate come from the caffeine present in it and other stimulants, including theobromine and tryptophan – which is a precursor to serotonin, a compound that helps you to feel calm.
- Iron rich
Dark chocolate is also an excellent source of iron and can help you improve your blood haemoglobin levels. A 100 g serving of good quality dark chocolate (70-85% cocoa solids) has almost 11.9 mg of iron. It also contains about 598 calories, so don't over indulge in it.
- Improves your skin
If you’re prone to period acne, or are looking for a tasty solution to great skin, indulge in some DC. Essential minerals found in dark chocolate like copper, iron, and zinc, are proven to promote cell growth and nourish your skin, keeping it younger. Dark chocolate also detoxifies skin and helps you get rid of dead skin cells, helping your skin look fresh and radiant.
- Helps relax your aching muscles
The hips, abdomen and thighs can feel sore during periods and magnesium traces in dark chocolate can help considerably to relieve the pain.
If reading this article has made you crave for some chocolate, might we suggest &Me’s Period Chocolates. These no sugar dark chocolates are specially designed to satiate your period cravings, and are available in two amazing flavours – Almonds & Sea Salt and Cranberry. When consumed in limited quantity, dark chocolate has a plethora of health benefits. Especially for a woman on her period. But, don’t make a habit of it and always check the sugar content before indulging in one.