Nov
30

Chocolate for PMS, a benefit or a cliché?

Posted by in Health, Menstruation, PMS

chocolate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You have seen the gif files of emotional women stuffing their faces with chocolate for PMS symptoms.  Does chocolate really provide PMS relief or is it yet another goofy claim to manage fluctuating hormones?

Chocolate begins with cacao, which is loaded with flavonoids and antioxidants.  Both are more prevalent in dark chocolate and chocolate with 70% cacao is the best choice for health purposes.  Here are a few of the good things our research showed about controlled chocolate consumption.

  • Chocolate is good for cardiovascular health.
  • Chocolate keeps the brain healthy and prevents memory decline.

But does it help with PMS?  According to our research, it might have a temporary “feel good” benefit.  Carbohydrates help brain cells make more serotonin, which is the “happy” or “feeling good” brain chemical.  This can damper the anger, irritability, anxiety and cravings women might be facing 3-5 days before menstruation.  As mentioned before on this blog, serotonin levels are thought to drop during the PMS phase of the cycle due to hormonal fluctuations.

Chocolate has sugar and caffeine, sugar is a carbohydrate and the caffeine will help with fatigue.  The key to all of this is “controlled consumption.”  A couple of pieces of delicious dark chocolate melting in your mouth might just make you feel a little better on a temporary basis, too much chocolate will send you crashing later on with a big time sugar low!

Think in terms of consuming one or two individually wrapped Ghirardelli
Squares, or Hershey Kisses or Dove Chocolate Mini Squares…not a gigantic Toblerone!