When we think of Easter we think of chocolate and we when we think of chocolate we think of period cravings, but did you know, that this cheeky snack can actually be beneficial to your health and your period? Okay, so not all chocolate is great for your period and eating the wrong kind can lead to further mood swings and pains due to the higher levels in processed sugar and fats.
Most chocolates contain a stimulant called theobromine, which can occasionally lead to increased pain and discomfort, it's found in super sweet chocolates and can make you feel more emotional and very tired when you're coming down off the “sugar high”, so don't just go grabbing every kind of chocolate you can find. But why is it that we crave chocolate when we are on our periods? This is caused by high level of hormones that are triggered as insulin increases, this leads to low blood sugar. When blood sugar is low, the brain sends signals to the body, this is why you probably feel a little tired during this time.
Studies say eating dark chocolate with a slightly lower count in sugars but higher in cacao beans can improve your mood swings, cramp and iron levels throughout the duration of your period. This type of chocolate will relax your muscles as it contains magnesium, omega-3 and omega 6 fatty acids. These will help boost your mood and energy levels, similar to a coffee or sugar high without the crappy come down. Other ways to get your healthy dose of cacao is through cacao tea, which is usually made from cacao husks, which are the outer shells of the bean. They are harvested fermented and dried before being roasted and the nibs and husks are separated. While the nibs are made to produce our beloved chocolate bars the husks can be made into tea, when steeped in hot water creates a chocolate flavoured herbal tea with all the benefits of the cacao bean. So when your feeling down and out during your period, reach for some dark chocolate (65% - 70%) or some tea, it may improve your mood and also provide some relief to the cravings.