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Chocolate induces endorphin and serotonin release in your body. Both are responsible for regulating mood and overall helping you feel more relaxed and cheerful. Needless to say, chocolate will help with your mood swings.
As your body gets used to having a positive reaction to chocolate, you start craving it. The cravings get stronger during a period when you are intensely losing blood and nutrients, as well as experiencing hormonal imbalance.
Professor of psychology and neuroscience Amy Stavnezer says the first obvious reason for chocolate cravings especially during a period is the hormone imbalance. Estrogen and progesterone have an impact on nearly every organ system in the body. When menstruation occurs there is a 3 to 6-fold change in the level of estrogen and approximately a 4-fold change in the level of progesterone. To top it off some women experience lower levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin which can cause PMS symptoms.
Are the Polyphenols in chocolate the answer?
Polyphenols are a category of compounds naturally found in plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, tea, dark chocolate, and wine. They all have a varying degree of anti-inflammatory action and antioxidants.
Polyphenol rich Khaya, the active plant ingredient in Khapregesic® for Period Pain seems to have the ideal balance for menstrual pain and hormone imbalance. It contains anti-inflammatories to knock the edge off cramping pain, a high level of antioxidants and pre-biotics for good gut health. A healthy gut assists in creating higher levels of serotonin helping to stave off those PMS symptoms.
Naturopath Caroline Robertson conducted clinical case studies on 24 patients using Khapregesic® for Period Pain. The study concluded that up to 92% of women experienced abdominal pain relief with 70% reporting anxiety relief. The unexpected factor, however, consistent with other polyphenol research, is that 87% of patients experienced some level of improvement in brain function within one hour.
It’s clear that the all natural plant-based Khapregesic® for Period Pain is the only medicine to date that can address both cramping pain AND PMS symptoms. A breakthrough for natural medicine.
… but back to chocolate – yum!
Women who crave chocolate during the pre-menstrual phase are experiencing this craving when both levels of estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest – not when they are changing. Even more interesting, most women stop craving chocolate just at the start of menses.
This has led researcher Julia Hormes to conclude that the chocolate craving might actually be a response to the stress of the oncoming bleeding, and that chocolate is a culturally reinforced way to deal with that stressor.
Not surprisingly then, 80 percent of menopausal women still report chocolate cravings, despite no longer having menstrual cycles or significant variability in their hormone levels over the course of a month (Hormes & Rozin, Appetite, 2009).
A final word, When you crave chocolate, especially around your period, after a stressful day, or as a reward for a job well done – own it, accept it, be mindful of it and most of all get lost in its creamy rapture.
More info on khaya: https://bioactivenaturalhealth.com.au/khapregesic for period pain/
More info on hormones: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/hormonal-endocrine-system
More info on neurotransmitters: https://qbi.uq.edu.au/brain/brain-physiology/what-are-neurotransmitters