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Why you must have chocolates during periods? Know reasons for food cravings

Consuming chocolate can elevate mood and promote happiness. In fact, dark chocolate includes serotonin, an antidepressant that can lift your spirits.

Health Desk Edited By: Health Desk New Delhi Published on: January 17, 2023 12:14 IST
Chocolates and periods
Image Source : FREEPIK Chocolates and periods

The moment you start to crave your comfort food, it is a sign that your period is approaching. These desires occur for a cause, as your body needs more calories at that time. Instead of ignoring those cravings, satisfying them is the right course of action. A NCBI study found that many women experience food cravings, especially for sweet treats like chocolate, cake, and eastern sweets, during the luteal phase and the first few days of menstruation.

Additionally, menstruation brings about menstrual cramps, which can become extremely painful and interfere with daily activities for a few days each month. During those times, women tend to look for things that can help them ease down the pain and manage their suffering. Here comfort food plays a very important role as it provides women with a sense of calm and chocolate is one of the foods women crave the most during their period. Moreover, dark chocolate, in particular, is known to relieve period pain because it contains more cocoa beans, a rich source of flavonoids that are regarded as a superior class of antioxidants, making dark chocolate a preferred comfort treat.

Chocolates and periods

There is no denying the fact that hormonal changes make you crave foods that provide you with comfort. This is the reason why most women seem to crave chocolate during their periods. According to a study by NCBI, 28.9% of women in college reported craving chocolate in relation to their menstrual cycle, most typically starting 4 days before and lasting through menstruation.

When ovulation starts, a woman's body follows the typical cycle of releasing her uterine lining and other toxins. The feel-good hormone serotonin decreases as insulin levels go up. As a result, appetites for foods like chocolate that elevate mood are increased. In addition, there is a decrease in progesterone and estrogen levels, which raises the desire for comfort food, particularly sweets, and helps to explain why women have intense chocolate cravings during their periods.

In fact, dark chocolate, in particular, is a calming supplement for menstruation. It has essential vitamins and minerals that aid in reducing period pain. As a result, an increasing number of women experience a need for dark chocolate just before or during their menstrual cycle.

Key reasons you must have chocolate during periods

Improves mood: According to NCBI, consuming chocolate can elevate mood and promote happiness. In fact, dark chocolate includes serotonin, an antidepressant that can lift your spirits. Furthermore, the flavanols included in dark chocolate are essential for boosting mood and bringing on a joyful feeling.

Reduces stress: Days of bleeding can be quite stressful for women since they find it difficult to keep up with their obligations at work, at home, etc., due to period pains. This is where chocolate, especially dark chocolate, comes into the picture because it lowers cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone, ensuring comfort to them.

Eases period cramps: There is no escaping the fact that period cramps are the worst agony of every woman and dark chocolate is the best solution to those cramps. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants such as phenol and flavonoids, as well as minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, a small amount of omega 3 and 6, and a high magnesium content, which prevents your muscles from holding water, feeling bloated, and reducing period cramps.

Way to stress-free periods: Craving your favorite food during periods is completely normal. Progesterone and estrogen production decreases during periods, which increases your cravings for comfort foods. Chocolate is one such comfort food for most of women that boosts their mood for good and provides them a little comfort during those challenging times.


(This article is attributed to Dr Jyothi Patil, Senior Consultant - Reproductive Medicine, Milann Fertility Center, Indiranagar)

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of India TV)


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