For women, this food is chocolate! Just like PMS signs like cramps, bloating, and moodiness, cravings are more likely caused by fluctuations in their hormones. Right before they start their period, the level of their hormones estrogen, serotonin, and cortisol in their body will shift.
Hypothalamus help in the regulation of food intake, this will likely explain why chocolate is most likely to decrease a woman’s hunger, or at least her motivation to eat more chocolate. The study has found decreased activities in the amygdala, an emotional center in the brain.
Chocolate does not just tingle the tongue, it is a soup of many compounds that affects the brain, which includes caffeine and theobromines. And therefore, chocolates do affect women differently than the effect it has for men
According to Auger, a professional who studies sex differences in the brain has come to an agreement that women have a stronger craving for chocolates. This distinction can be found as far down the evolutionary ladder as rats, where the females also have a strong craving for the blessed bean. The major difference is probably rooted in the female’s cyclic rise and fall of estrogen and progesterone.
A new study has shown that chocolates also affects brains differently after it has been eaten. Magnetic resonance (MR) pictures the brains to show that the hypothalamus was less active in women after they have consumed a large number of chocolates. Since the hypothalamus helps regulate food intake, this explains why chocolates are very likely to reduce a woman’s hunger and her motivation to eat more chocolate.
The study also discovered a reduction in activities in the amygdala, a key emotional center in the brain. It is really amazing because the amygdala does not only regulate positive and negative emotions but can also boost sexual behavior and desires. Hence, chocolates have a potential impact on those behaviors, although there are no direct results to prove that fact. But biologically, these differences can be underlying mechanisms to explain why men and women always have different preferences, as well as a behavioral and physiological reaction to chocolate.
Some of the reasons why people crave chocolates.
Statistically, women tend to crave chocolates very much more than men, but men tend to favor cravings for foods like red meat and beer.
While the craving might not always come from a chocolate deficiency, there are several components in chocolates that the body can become deficient in, most especially magnesium and antioxidants. Chocolates can affect the brain, leading to an increase in neurotransmitters and dopamine and a feeling of happiness.
In research results, chocolate cravings seem to be especially tied to the hormone changes such as menstruation, pregnancy, etc and the magnesium in chocolates, as well as its ability to affect neurotransmitters might be a large part of the reason.
Interestingly, women having chocolate cravings can also be culturally conditioned. The trend of craving chocolate is most pronounced in the US and men are reported to have the craving much less than women. This can arise from the fact that chocolate is largely marketed to women as a strategy to deal with negative emotions and to get away from it all.
In fact, studies have found out that premenstrual cravings vary by culture and that chocolate was most craved in the US, while Japanese women favored cravings for rice and sushi, totally switching my cravings to this!.
Magnesium in Chocolate
Chocolates are not the highest magnesium food available, although it does make the top ten list. It happens to be the only top-ten magnesium food that has also been known for its ability to promote neurotransmitter activity and dopamine production, so its combination makes it generally desirable especially during hormone imbalance.
Other foods such as leafy greens, figs, avocados, and nuts are higher in magnesium per gram, but dark chocolate has 327 milligrams of magnesium per 100 grams.
Professionals have estimated that 80% of us or more are deficient in magnesium, it is really important to find ways to increase magnesium quantify in the body, but unfortunately, chocolates is not really a great way to do this.
Depletion of the soil magnesium has led to a decrease in dietary magnesium and due to the gut issues, many people really struggle to absorb magnesium through their digestive system. It is most advisable to use topical transdermal magnesium, it is much easier for the body to assimilate and use effectively.
It has also come to the notice of professionals that when consuming enough magnesium-rich foods especially greens) and using topical magnesium, the PMS and other hormone struggles and even had less morning sickness and easier labor last pregnancy using magnesium.
Furthermore: Magnesium deficiency is a real problem. While dark chocolates may be the tastiest way to inflate magnesium levels in the body, it probably wouldn’t be the most effective. If anything, chocolates should be eaten moderately in addition to other food sources of magnesium and topical magnesium.
Chocolate and the Brain
Perhaps the most likely reason that we crave chocolate so much and enjoy eating it so much is the way by which chocolate affects the brain.
The real fact that chocolates taste so good and we enjoy eating it simply means that the body releases happy hormones to the body.
Serotonin also released in the brain in the week before menstruation, so this may partially explain the specific craving for chocolate during this time.
Chocolates hence, also contains theobromine, a chemical known to improve heart rate and energy, as well as arousal.
Antioxidants in Chocolate
One of the chocolates claim that has been largely over-emphasized especially by certain chocolate companies and marketing companies is the antioxidant properties of chocolate.
Chocolates do contain decent amounts of flavonols, antioxidants that are known to be anti-aging and improve healthy blood flow and blood pressure. Flavonols can also help keep blood vessels elastic.
But take note that We would need to consume a large number of chocolates to get enough antioxidants to see the benefit, and there are only a few true studies on the antioxidant abilities of chocolates most of which are observation.
Additional, while dark chocolates have a relatively high quantity of antioxidants like flavonols, milk chocolates have very little and white chocolates doesn’t have any. A lot of manufacturers actually remove the flavonols, since they make chocolates taste bitter.
Milk chocolates are basically chocolate of choice, at least in the United States, and it has negligible antioxidant content, especially for the quantity of sugar that it contains. Most processed chocolates also contain a high fructose corn syrup and a lot of other additives.