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Craving chocolate before or during your period is a surefire sign of magnesium deficiency – read on to find out why I’m NOT going to tell you to quit chocolate!

 

Chocolate, Magnesium and Menstrual Cramping

 

So what’s the connection between chocolate, magnesium and period cramps?

When our muscles cramp up, this means that we are deficient in magnesium. Chocolate (Raw Cacao, to be specific), is one of the highest sources of magnesium in the world! This is why, when that time of the month rolls around, our bodies start telling us to load up on chocolate – we need the magnesium to help relax our muscles, so we don’t cramp so hard.

 

What About Period Pain?

 

Magnesium and period pain are also intimately connected. When we are magnesium deficient, we become more sensitive to pain signals in our nervous system. There is evidence that supports the use of magnesium to increase our pain tolerance. This makes us more able to cope with pain and less likely to suffer from it in the first place.

 

Can Magnesium Help With PMS?

 

YES!

If you find that your mood changes before your period and you are:

  • Crying about things you know are not a big deal
  • Cranky with everyone around you
  • Snapping at people
  • Having mood swings
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Tired all the time

Then it’s very likely you need some magnesium in your life!

 

Doing Chocolate The Right Way

 

Here’s where I tell you to eat ALL THE CHOCOLATE!!!

Sort of.

If you’re loading up on Snickers Bars and Cadbury Milk Chocolate, I have one top tip for you: Switch to 85% Dark Chocolate. You won’t need to eat the whole bar to feel satisfied, which means you hit chocolate cravings on the head without consuming too much sugar!

 

How Much To Have

 

2 squares of chocolate per day will be all you’ll need once you switch to the Dark Side! Make sure you eat your chocolate earlier in the day. This is because chocolate is high in caffeine. If you have your 2 squares late at night, you might find yourself lying awake for a while! I like a 3 pm cut-off for this kind of snack.

 

Other Ways To Eat More Magnesium

 

Here are some other ways to get more magnesium into your everyday life:

  • Add 3 teaspoons of raw cacao to a breakfast smoothie with some fruit
  • Make a snack trail mix with brazil nuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds (all high in magnesium)
  • Add more magnesium-rich legumes to your diet; such as black beans and chickpeas

Anti-Inflammatory Raw Cacao Hot Chocolate Recipe

hot chocolate

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp raw cacao powder
  • 250ml milk of your choice (I use coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp honey OR rice malt syrup
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

Method:

  1. Add the milk to a saucepan and warm the milk until hot, but not boiling.
  2. Add the cacao, turmeric and honey/rice malt.
  3. Stir everything until melted in and combined.
  4. Enjoy this drink served in a mug before 3 pm to allow the caffeine to clear from your system before bedtime.

 

What I Can Do To Help

 

If you feel period pain and cramping regularly, there may be more going on than a straightforward magnesium deficiency. If you are relying on painkillers to function during your period, there is definitely more that needs to be investigated!

Book in now for a FREE 15-Minute Discovery Call/Gut Health Assessment where we’ll discuss where you’re at with your hormonal health, nutrient status and digestive health (YES they’re all connected!).

I can’t wait to find out what your goals are for healing and get started with helping you achieve them!

 

Lauren Booth

BHSc (Nat)

Nutritionist & Naturopath

 

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