Chocolate cravings during PMS

It has been shown as proof positive that carefully prepared chocolate is as healthful a food as it is pleasant; that it is nourishing and easily digested…that it is above al helpful to people who must do a great deal of mental work…~Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

The symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) differ from one woman to the other. And women try different things to cope up with PMS, some women exercise, do breathing exercises, swim, walk, do yoga to feel better while others binge on their favourite foods like pizzas, cookies, pasta, fruits etc, especially chocolates. If you talk about cravings, many women have stated their cravings for sweet food particularly chocolates. Chocolates are not only yummy but also great mood lifters and stress busters. Chocolates reduce the release of stress hormones and help our brain to release endorphins and also increase the brain chemicals called serotonin levels. Darker chocolates have less sugar so are a healthier option than sweet milk chocolates. Let’s understand how and why chocolates reduce stress:

Trigger Endorphins and Tryptophan: Chocolate encourages the release of endorphins, which are innate hormones/chemicals produced by the brain which create feelings of happiness and encourage a sense of well being. Chocolates are rich in tryptophan which is required by the brain to produce serotonin which again is known to make us feel relaxed and happy.

Lower levels of stress: Chocolates are rich in mood boosting carbohydrates, serotonins and flavonols. It is interesting to know that this sweet treat lowers the amount of Cortisol, ACTH and epinephrine in our body which are supposed to be released whenever we are stressed out. Studies have shown that the level of these chemicals reduces on consuming chocolates, in other words they negate stress.

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