New Delhi, January 18: Many women would know the intense feeling of craving chocolaty gooiness during those monthly days when the disaster of nature strikes. All you could think of is chocolate, pampering, and conditioning. The little indulgence in the form of chocolate helps keep your mind off of stomach cramps and breakouts. Not many women are aware why they specifically crave chocolate during their Bloody-Mary days.
According to The Independent, many people believe that it all bottles down to hormonal imbalances during your monthly cycle. As progesterone and estrogen levels drop at the beginning of the period, this causes you to become hungrier.
While cortisol – the stress hormones – levels are steadily on the rise during this period, the level of serotonin – the feel-good hormone – drops rapidly. The whole imbalance makes you crave sugary food which inadvertently leads to boost in feel-good hormones and hence cheer you up. Nevertheless, many people believe that this does not add up. While the hormonal imbalance might be a reason, it is not the sole reason. One such believer is an advanced accredited practising dietician from Australia, Melanie McGrice, who published a post on her blog giving her views about this mystery. She explained various avenues of a research which was carried to solve this chocolaty conundrum. She insisted that there is no definitive evidence of relating hormonal imbalance to menstrual chocolate craving.
She cited a study from 2004 which compared chocolate cravings of American and Spanish women. The American women specifically showed their inclination to have chocolate during their menstrual cycle as opposed to their Spanish counterparts who craved chocolate around dinner-time or while working, notwithstanding their monthly cycle.
The researchers believed that the people now generally let their cravings run amok based on the cues predominantly set in their minds. Since a lot of women have seen or have been taught to associate menstrual period with chocolate, they automatically crave chocolate during the cycle.
McGrice concluded with a statement that, “After reviewing the current research, I believe that craving chocolate before our period is a mixture of physiology, psychology, and cultural conditioning”. She added that “Our hormonal changes during the days leading up to your menstrual cycle leave us feeling stressed and tired, which we try to eradicate by indulging in our favourite comfort foods. This ends up creating a cycle by which we crave high fat and sugar foods when we get our period every month”.