- Introduction to Vegan Cooking
- How to stock your pantry
- Removing the Mystery Behind Disease - Recipes
- Healthy from Inside Out - Recipes
- 305C - Recipes
- Beans and Legumes
- Dips, Dressings, and Sauces
- Drinks, Shakes, and Juices
- Meat Substitutes and Tofu
- Soups and Stews
- Vegetable Dishes
- Natural Remedies
- 13.08.10 - Scientists Discover That Plants Communicate via Symbiotic Root Fungi
- 15.05.22 - France to Force Supermarkets to Give Unsold Food to Charities
- 15.07.14 - Planned Parenthood Uses Partial-Birth Abortions to Sell Baby Parts
- 15.06.15 - Using Hand Sanitizer Can Increase Skin's Absorption of Dangerous Chemicals
- 15.06.26 - GMOs Not Tolerated in Russia
- 15.05.15 - World Population-Food Supply Balance Becoming Increasingly Unstable
- 15.05.11 - In September, the UN Launches a Major Sustainable Development Agenda for the Entire Planet
- 08.04.03 - Identical Twins' Genes Are Not Identical
- 13.06.24 - Identical Twin Studies Prove Homosexuality is Not Genetic
- 14.12.09 - Are Weather Warfare Assaults Devastating Noncompliant Countries Around the Globe?
- 14.01.28 - USA Today Columnist: Jail "anti-vac" Parents
- 14.03.10 - The Many Concerns of Using Antibiotics in Meat
- 16.01.29 - North America Bathed in Radiation from Fukushima, Levels now 1000x Above Normal for Alpha Particles
- Health Seminar Coming to Langley, BC
- 16.11.15 - Share this Breaking Story about Monsanto
- 14.02.20 - Global Food Supply Deliberately Engineered to End Life, Not Nourish It
- Contact Us
Why Women Crave Chocolate
Publish date: May 26, 2009
Summary: Why do women often crave chocolate if it's not good for their health?
|Share with others:||
What is your first memory of eating chocolate? Often, children are introduced to chocolate at a child’s first Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas or birthday celebration. For many of us, remembering that first piece of chocolate is impossible: It’s always been a part of our lives.
A Cultured Habit
It’s these early associations with chocolate that are behind many women’s perimenstrual (a few days before through the first day or two of menses) chocolate cravings, says Amy Jo Stavnezer a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the College of Wooster.
In a Psychology Today interview Stavnezer said, “Throughout our lives … we … learn that chocolate is positive, paired with reward and to an extent, a culturally accepted high-fat, high-calorie indulgence.”
She suggests that women who crave chocolate before their periods associate chocolate with good feelings and reach for it to quell the discomfort they experience at “that time of month.”
Help for Hormones?
Many women grab for chocolate when they’re feeling hormonal because they feel chocolate must somehow meet a chemical need the body has due to hormone fluctuations - kind of like taking a vitamin pill. Eating chocolate certainly can have an influence on our brain’s chemistry, since dopamine, a neurotransmitter, is released when we eat chocolate. Dopamine is a “feel good” chemical that is produced whenever you participate in a pleasurable activity and is part of the reward circuit that helps you remember positive experiences like exercising, having sex and eating chocolate. Whenever you repeat a certain pleasurable experience, eating chocolate for example, you strengthen your mind’s association of positive feelings with that activity. The downside is that too much dopamine can cause addictive behaviours. If you think you’re addicted to chocolate, you might actually be addicted to the dopamine rush you experience when you eat it.
The bottom line is, eating chocolate doesn’t help balance your monthly hormone fluctuations. If it could, then post-menopausal women shouldn’t have chocolate cravings, should they? But they do. Researchers studying chocolate cravings on pre- and post-menopausal women concluded that “reproductive hormones are not the principal cause of perimenstrual chocolate craving.” Sorry for the bad news, but having your period is no longer an excuse for eating chocolate, ladies.
A Healthy Habit?
Others suggest that food cravings point to nutrient deficiencies. Chocolate supplies plenty of fat and sugar, but it also supplies magnesium and potassium. Could this be the chemical connection behind chocolate cravings? Not likely. If that were the case, women would crave rice bran which is very high in both magnesium and potassium. I’ve never heard anyone say, “I’m dying for a spoonful of rice bran!”
A study was done to determine which component of chocolate was likely to be behind chocolate cravings. When the different components of chocolate were put into capsules and taken by participants craving chocolate, only eating the actual chocolate bar itself eased the cravings considerably. Many women say that what they crave most is the way chocolate feels in their mouths as it melts. The mouth-feel is a significant part of its attraction and is due to the combination of fat and refined sugar.
So chocolate doesn’t balance your hormones or meet your body’s need for vital nutrients or brain chemicals after all. But dark chocolate is good for you, right? It has antioxidants that can help fight heart disease and diabetes. That may be true, but there are better, less expensive sources of antioxidants than chocolate.
Negative Health Effects
Unfortunately for chocoholics, the negative health effects of chocolate outweigh any possible benefits. These include increased problems with gastroesophageal reflux, diabetes, dental caries, weight and heart disease. Indulging in chocolate when you’re feeling down is like flirting with an addiction. Every time you have chocolate and experience that dopamine-induced mood improvement, however short-lived it may be, reinforces that behavior pattern which could lead to an addictive relationship with chocolate. And if you’re depressed, eating chocolate for that temporary mood improvement can actually prolong your depression.
More troubling still are the dark aspects of chocolate production that are seldom talked about. Pesticides, some so dangerous they’ve been banned in Canada, the US and other developed countries, are used in cocoa production. One of these is lindane, a neurotoxin that is sprayed on cocoa trees monthly from August to December, while the trees are producing cocoa pods. Unless you eat only organic chocolate, your chocolate likely contains pesticide residues from farm applications and fumigation required for import. And if you trust your own government agencies with ensuring the safety of the chocolate you eat, think of the farm workers that grow it. Many are illiterate and can’t read the warnings on the label. Few use safety measures while applying chemicals and many accept side-effects associated with cocoa production as a fact of life. These side-effects include sterility, headaches, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, burns, and itching.
If you want to do what’s best for your health, discard chocolate altogether. Otherwise, limit your consumption to only organic, fair-trade dark chocolate. The high price might even help you curb a chocolate habit. For die-hard chocoholics, malt-sweetened, vegan carob is a healthier alternative and worth giving a try.
Susan Albers, “Why Do I Crave Chocolate During My Period?” Psychology Today; http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/comfort-cravings/201402/why-do-i-crave-chocolate-during-my-period (Accessed March 2, 2014).
Susan Albers, “Why Do We Crave Chocolate So Much?” Psychology Today; http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/comfort-cravings/201402/why-do-we-crave-chocolate-so-much (Accessed March 2, 2014).
Bryce Wylde, “The Dopamine Diet,” The Dr. Oz Show; http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/dopamine-diet (Accessed March 2, 2014).
Healthy Living Resources
Spirituality and Health
What's the right kind of Water for my Health?
Learn the eight laws of health that lead to an abundant life.
Dr. Rainda gives good advice on balanced living.
Why is building your blood important? What does it mean to cleanse your blood? The answers to these questions could prove instrumental in guiding you to better health.
Read about four important parenting tips from Ellen White to help develop a healthy family unit.
Moderate, monitored fasting can be part of a healthy detox regime.
Starting the day right involves a hearty, healthy breakfast.
How to Achieve a Perfect Combination
Learn what young coconut kefir is, in addition to all the wonderful benefits you will reap when consuming this ever so fabulous health tonic.
Everyone experiences stress. We cannot heal from stress without understanding it first, and learning to deal with it head on.
What is Candida? Candida is the short name used to describe yeast overgrowth in the body. The technical term is Candidiasis. Like their &...
Every private home should have charcoal on hand as a ready antidote for poisoning, and as a cleansing agent in infectious and various metabolic disturbances.
A healthy heart is crucial for a healthy life. So why don't we take better care of our hearts?
We keep our muscles strong and effective in the same way that we exercise our spiritual gifts and "prayer muscles" to keep them free from atrophy.
From burns to weak bones, raw honey can help.
Written in 1936 and still used as an essential reference today. Book Review.
Melons are more than just a sweet, juicy treat.
Learn the importance of iron in the diet and how to get enough iron the vegetarian way.
Learn why you should make chia seeds a part of your diet.
Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, has long been used as a home remedy for a variety of ailments. Added to bath water, it has been used to relieve colds, back pain, ease muscle tension and treat certain skin conditions.
A simple green algae food, chlorella, can help with dozens of health conditions.
Learn how to take care of your biggest organ: your skin.
Several charts show best time to plant vegetables in accordance with blooming time of perennials.
A helpful chart for those wanting to grow their own garden vegetables.
Chart showing how to space your vegetables in the garden and how to care for your plants.
Is soy a smart food to include in a healthy diet?
Every 7 minutes, someone in Canada dies of a heart attack or stroke. Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death and magnesium deficiency is a major contributing factor.
Can plants really communicate? Ask Dr. Mercola.
Carrageenan, a food additive made from seaweed, could be harmful.
Mammogram screening is becoming increasingly popular in North America. But is it the safest way to screen for breast cancer?
Jean Handwerk explains the connection between modern wheat and many averse health effects.
Is chocolate really that bad? If so, what are the alternatives?
Find practical ideas for dealing with depression in these articles about symptoms and treatments.
It has been shown that a vegan diet can provide all the body’s needs and can be followed without fear.
Does Eat Right For Your Type by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo align with Scripture and science?
Even if you don’t feel sick, your digestion may be poor enough to slowly poison your system. No, this isn’t simply a theory, but the conclusion from years of laboratory testing and clinical experience. Autointoxication is real.
The fever is perhaps the most overtreated health symptom of all.
Tony de Morais explains the wide spectrum of uses for clay.
In 1971 President Nixon and Congress declared war on cancer. So what's happened in the 40 years since? After weeding out the hype and filling in the actual statistics, it turns out, not much.
Can anything be done to prevent common illnesses?
Don't let dentists put this poison in your mouth!
A look at the health benefits of potatoes.
Dr. Roy Swank found that the diets of those with Multiple Sclerosis can make a difference in their prognosis.
Take a closer look at the safety of midwife-assisted home births versus hospital births.
When you open the fridge to grab a snack, consider simple, healthy alternatives to sugar-filled munchies and beverages.
A quick reference list of healthful, dairy-free ways to get your calcium.
Find information on the products that Jeanie Davis recommends in Healthy from Inside Out
Learn the best, natural mixture to use when cleaning fresh veggies and fruit.
When shopping for groceries, check the labels for carrageenan, a thickening agent scientists are blaming for various gastrointestinal illnesses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released an air quality model to show that more than 9 in 10 people live in areas that have unsafe levels of air pollution.
Food borne illness is on the increase worldwide. In most cases, animal products are implicated as the main source of infection.
Health is about more than just diet or exercise.
Inject some fun into your food routine with these healthy meal ideas.
Pain pills aren't always the best way to deal with aches and soreness. Various therapies—including vibrational therapy—can have you on the road to recovery.
Some fruits and vegetables should not be eaten together, as they can react and cause digestive issues.
Have you considered carob as an alternative to chocolate? See for yourself the impact chocolate can have on your health.
Learn about the acidity or alkalinity of your favorite foods.
If God made the world, and our bodies, then the Creation story can give us clues about how we should live for optimum health. But how did what God called "good" transform into a dog-eat-dog world of carnivores, thorns, parasites, and other ugly aspects of Creation?
If God made everything so good, why are there so many problems? Are thorns and weeds evolved adaptations or changes in Creation?
This article uses pieces of nature, such as the genome, the cell, and even the eye, as evidence that God is the Creator of all things.
It seems clear that organisms change over time. But why? Is it evolution?
Some call it cacophony and are driven to madness; others find it the most beautiful event in all of creation—the dawn chorus of the birds.
There are many types of water available today. Some are better for your health than others.
Learn why drinking at least 2.5L of water per day is vital to your body's health at any age.
Fluoride in drinking water has been linked to decline in IQ and may cause health issues.
Excitotoxins cause physical and spiritual destruction.
Is consuming alcohol ever a good idea?
Smoking leads to massive amounts of sickness and death every year.
Maybe vegetarianism is the best option after all...
Get the truth about lactose, calcium, and the need for caution around dairy products.
The agriculture industry is fast becoming reliant on genetically modified foods. Learn the facts about GMOs and the effects this trend is having on health worldwide.
Diabetes is spreading across North America. Is there anything we can do to stop this killer disease?
Refined sugar is addictive, destructive, and devoid of any nutritional value. Why does it continue to be a staple food across the world?
There are now over 3,000 additives in our foods. Incredibly, only 7% have any nutritional value.
Do the stimulating benefits of coffee really outweigh the costs?
Most of the bread products consumed today are made of refined grains. Are our breakfast cereals and "fortified" loaves as healthy as we like to think?
Vaccination began 200 years ago as an experimental life-saving medical tool. While it originally had some merit, today it has become perhaps the leading cause of death and disability among our children.
Music enters the brain through its emotional regions, which include the temporal lobe and the limbic system.
Plant medicine safety pale in comparison to the promotional and safety practices of the mainstream drug industry.