Which Chocolate Is Best For Periods? | CoachSweetTooth

You may have heard of chocolate cravings during periods, and wondered why that is. Which chocolate is best for periods? Does it really help?

A lot of times, the food cravings that happen during periods aren’t just random, they are specifically about what the body needs at the time. That’s why the craving is there!

Chocolate can be good for periods, since they don’t just bring the psychological factor of comfort, but can also help relieve menstrual pain. Dark chocolate is particularly good for this, and is much more effective than other kinds of chocolate.

While chocolate helps getting through your period, you would have to keep an eye out for the sugar content! But how exactly does chocolate help at all?

We looked into the research carried out on the topic to determine whether chocolate can be beneficial for periods and how exactly it can help.

Table of contents


Is Chocolate Good for Periods?

Releasing Serotonin

When you’re on your period, the body’s hormone level is fluctuating, which is what results in mood swings and PMS. These mood swings are caused by the release of cortisol, which is the stress hormone, and serotonin, which is the happy hormone. When in equal amounts, the effect of these hormones gets balanced out, which lets you relax and feel somewhat better about yourself.

But the release of serotonin needs carbs and sugar, and chocolate is an excellent way to fulfill that requirement. Dark chocolate specifically has high levels of magnesium, copper and iron, which help relax your muscles and make your mood better.

On the other hand, milk chocolate has a much lower component of minerals, and is actually higher on the calories. This means that it can cause bloating, which you’d already be suffering through when you’re on your period, and can even end up making your mood worse.

Boosting Energy

Chocolate is also good for periods in that it helps boost your energy levels. When you’re on your period, you’d be feeling down in the dumps, and dealing with the pain can drain you of your energy pretty fast.

A bar of dark chocolate can do wonders to help. Not only does it increase your endorphins to make you feel more active, it also contains caffeine that helps stimulate the body and energizes you. It also includes other stimulants like theobromine and tryptophan, which are compounds that help stimulate you and calm you down, making you feel much better.

Rich in Iron

Being on your period, you’d be losing a lot of blood, especially if you have a heavy flow and your period lasts for several days. If you’re not careful, you may end up anemic! With its high iron content, dark chocolate can be great to improve hemoglobin levels. But dark chocolate will still also have calories, so be careful not to go overboard.

Improving Skin

With your hormones all over the place, you may see the effect of it on your skin, with pimples and acne sprouting up. This can become really distressing, especially if you’re already in a bad mood.

Dark chocolate contains minerals like copper, iron and zinc, which nourish the skin and promote cell growth. It also has a detoxifying effect, and makes your skin look radiant and clean.

Again, you don’t want to overindulge! Too much can have the opposite effect and cause more acne, so be careful with how much of it you eat. Milk chocolate does not have these effects, since it has a very low mineral composition in comparison, so if you’re trying to clear your skin, stay away from milk chocolate.

Helps With Soreness & Pain

The biggest concern anyone can have around periods is the pain. Menstrual cramps can be absolutely horrid, and sometimes, no number of painkillers can help.

But with all these other factors around stress and energy combined, dark chocolate may just end up providing that pain relief benefit! Dark chocolate contains magnesium, which can help with the soreness you feel during your period around your hips, thighs and abdomen.

There is also plenty of research carried out to test the effects of dark chocolate on menstrual pain, with positive results. One study carried out in Indonesia showed that menstruating teenagers who ate about 40 grams of dark chocolate daily during their period had significantly less pain than those who didn’t.

Clearly, dark chocolate has its benefits!

The Psychological Factor

Let’s be honest, we associate chocolate with comfort. With our emotions being all over the place during periods, we’d want something to bring us comfort, and what better option than a nice bar of rich chocolate?

Even just thinking about it makes you want to have it. Even if the benefit is simply psychological (which it’s not, as we’ve seen above! Chocolate has physiological benefits too.) It can help make a bad day slightly better.

So, chocolate is good for periods, but be careful! When we say chocolate, we mean dark chocolate, which is closer to its purer, natural form, and has a cocoa bean composition greater than 65%.

While it may be tempting to use the argument and eat a lot of milk chocolate when you’re on your period, this may actually cause you more problems than benefits. Avoid milk chocolate, but let yourself indulge in the dark chocolate, and that one week of pain may just end up being more bearable.


Lori Gilmore

Lori Gilmore

Lori has been a Culinary Arts instructor for twenty years. She has taught in the public school setting, at the collegiate level and through adult continuing education as well as running several cooking and baking camps for children. She has participated in several cooking, cake & chocolate contests and has been well recognized. She has raised thousands of dollars for charities using the byline “Saving the World one Cupcake at a Time”. Additionally, she has had several articles regarding food published in various magazines.

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