Why Women Crave Chocolate Before During and After PMS

by katiem2

It's not in your head, you crave chocolate for a very good reason during your period. Learn why your brain sends the message to your body to eat chocolate and what you should do.

It’s not all in your head, we need what chocolate has to offer, the cravings for chocolate women experience are a real physical need as our bodies cry out for help meeting this need. Find out why women crave chocolate.

Plus learn the healthy alternatives to chocolate that really address the problem and make for less painful cramps and symptoms.

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The Reasons Women Crave Chocolate Before During and After PMS

Why is it when that time of the month rolls around women often crave chocolate?

In fact we've hailed it a given right!  If we must suffer the pain, swelling and cramps of PMS or painful irritating periods we want our chocolate to ease that pain and suffering.  Menstrual cramps often hit several hours, often one day, after we begin our period.  This process usually, if not always, creates the desire to binge on sweet rich chocolate.  We seek it out with a vengeance as if to know without any doubt chocolate will end the pain. The cold hard facts are not what you expect to hear. The truth of the matter is that chocolate we reach for and think of as comfort food is actually a culprit contributing to the symptoms making for more intense and painful cramps. 

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What Causes PMS Cramps

PMS cramps can feel just as bad as the contractions of child birth find out why.

The painful cramps begin after we start because of a contraction like reaction to the shedding of the uterine wall.  Cramps occur when the lining of the uterus release prostaglandin, a hormone like substance. While prostaglandin is being released the uterus spasms in a contraction like manner.  It’s normal to experience moderate to normal cramps at the onset of menstruation due to the inflammatory effects of prostaglandin. The dilation of blood vessels creates inflammation and a shift in blood pressure. But is there something we do to make this condition worse?

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Why We Women Crave Chocolate

Women crave chocolate as a very real response to a very real physical need.

Low blood sugar occurs during menstruation because a higher level of hormones and insulin are triggered. Once blood sugar is low the brain sends messages to the body to generate more fuel.   


This is the message we confuse as the need for chocolate or sweets of any kind.  A healthier way to address this physical need is to eat complex carbohydrates rich in whole grains. These healthy options will counter the ill effects of fluctuating blood sugar. Addressing this need decreases cramps as the body levels out from the complex carbohydrates with its healthy conversion to energy.

The Bad Effects of Chocolate on PMS

The very times you think you really need chocolate is actually the worse time to eat chocolate.

The FDA has researched the effects of chocolate on women during this process. The FDA reports chocolate to have small amounts of caffeine and large amounts of theobromine, a mild stimulant.  This can create a reaction in the nervous system enhancing pain, irritability and discomfort.  It is for this reason chocolate can actually make your periods and PMS symptoms worse.  Many argue the calcium in chocolate is beneficial to menstrual cramps.  Studies have proven calcium supplements lessen the pain of cramps.  It is beneficial to take added calcium supplements to counter the ill effects of PMS instead of eating chocolate which actually aggravates the pain of cramps.

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The Truth about Chocolate and PMS

Why chocolate is not good for you during PMS or your period.

PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome causes mood swings, depression, anxiety, insomnia, irritability and over all pain.  The hormonal fluctuations we experience often create PMS days or weeks before we actually begin the cycle.  Be prepared to continually experience chocolate cravings during these changes.  It is always a better idea to avoid eating chocolate during your period to insure the symptoms are not aggravated and or made worse.  The same caffeine that causes the physical pain of PMS to worsen has the same ill effects on the emotional issue mentioned earlier.  The body also needs magnesium during the menstrual process.  While we don’t feel like cooking well planned nutritious meals during this trying time taking added supplements or supplements period is the best way to decrease the over all pain and discomfort of PMS or the average menstrual period.

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The Truth About Chocolate and PMS

I personally love chocolate, the pictures on this page are those I took myself this morning, I always have chocolate laying about.

So what do we girls do about chocolate?  I say we can have our chocolate and eat it to.

But now we realize the time to enjoy chocolate is not during our periods as this can make for worse PMS.

We can have our chocolate and eat it too, chocolate is good for us and makes our brains happy just not during our periods.

So between that week when things go a bit off the deep end take a good multivitamin and be sure to stock up on chocolate when it's not that time of the month!

I am a dark chocoholic I love rich dark chocolate and this is the type that is good for us.

I go all out to feel and fill good, I buy organic and fair trade chocolate.

Endangered Species Black Panther is the best I have ever tried and it is so good for you. Most dark chocolate I've tried over 80% is bitter and often dry, but not endangered species.

 My friends, kids and family who don't like dark chocolate love this stuff.

So if you've not gotten into the dark chocolate health kick give endangered species a try, I bet you find you love it just as much as I do.  

This is quality chocolate you can feel good about buying so try the many varieties, I do and have never been disappointed.

This is a special treat that makes you feel special, it's good chocolate.


Much Happiness and Pleasure, Katie

Updated: 03/25/2013, katiem2
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katiem2 on 06/04/2012

UrsulaRose,Good advice and so true, you are good to eat it before but after the onset of your period avoid it, after the cycle it's fair game once more. :) K

katiem2 on 05/19/2012

samsara. Me too, I'm a big fan of chocolate, I'm glad I researched to learn just what chocolate can do for us women.

Debbie, Yes now we all know the real reason we crave chocolate.

DebbieBrooks on 05/18/2012

No wonder I love chocolate.. love your article..

katiem2 on 05/17/2012

JeanBakula, Yes indeed, you should give endangered species a go, they have amazing milk and white chocolate as well.

JeanBakula on 05/17/2012

Really interesting info about one of my fave things, chocolate. Although I am past the problems of menstrual periods, I still make sure I get calcium and exercise. I also like to buy chocolate that gives some money to a cause, and the dark ones DO get too bitter for me. Happy chocolate eating though (at the right times, of course :).

katiem2 on 05/17/2012

sheilamarie, sure glad to be of good use :)

sheilamarie on 05/17/2012

Sometimes we just need chocolate.
Thanks for the information about why we crave it and how and when not to eat it for our own benefit.

katiem2 on 05/16/2012

Nancy, I'm so glad you read to the end to find out the good news about eating chocolate. Thanks for commenting.

Nancy on 05/16/2012

NIce information glad you added the bit at the end as to how we can continue to have our chocolate and eat it too!

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