Did you know craving chocolate, especially during PMS, can actually be sign of low magnesium? According to James L. Wilson, Ph.D., author of Adrenal Fatigue , magnesium helps mediate the symptoms of PMS because it is is directly involved with the production of progesterone. Since chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, craving chocolate is the body’s way of getting the supplements it needs. Its incredible how smart our bodies are!
The down side of course is caffeine which, if you have Adrenal Fatigue, overstimulates an already exhausted system. The solution, according to Wilson, is to let the chocolate cravings be a reminder to take more magnesium. He recommends 400 MG of magnesium a day, either all month long for severe PMS suffers, or for milder cases of PMS from Day 12 or 14 of your cycle (until the first day of the next cycle).
Within two weeks of starting magnesium supplementation, Wilson says cravings for chocolate should disappear (or be negligible). If you are still craving chocolate this likely means more magnesium is needed.
Magnesium can be found in foods such as almonds, cashews, other nuts and peas. And if you are following the HypoT Girl’s Diet with me, then you should be getting lots of magnesium from eating nuts all day. I rarely crave chocolate anymore, so there must be something to this stuff!
Lizzy - May 10, 2010
Thanks, Retro, so glad you found it helpful. 🙂
Matthew Cornell - May 12, 2010
Re chocolate and caffeine, I was going to post that it has none, and that this is an urban myth. But I did some research and it looks like it does contain caffeine, but not a lot. Some indicate about that of a decaf cup of tea. The more important chemical – a relative of caffeine – is Theobromine. This is the chemical that differentiates chocolate from other foods. Importantly:
"In spite of being so closely related, caffeine and theobromine have very different effects on human beings. Caffeine is a stronger stimulant and acts relatively quickly as a wake-up drug; theobromine tends to induce a mild sense of well-being over a longer period of time."
From the green and black site:
Our Organic Milk Chocolate bar contains 3mg of caffeine and 24mg theobromine per serving (40g). … # tea ranged from less than 1 mg to 90 mg of caffeine per serving (mean 40 mg)* … # ground coffee ranged from 15 mg to 254 mg of caffeine per serving (mean 105 mg)*
The best refs:
Lizzy - May 12, 2010
Thanks for the reference Matt. As a stimulant, I wonder if Theobromine is better for those of us with Adrenal Fatigue? In general, I’ve read that stimulants cause a crash, and for Adrenal Fatigue, this makes the condition worse. Although, I am addicted to coffee and caffeine (because of the Hypothyroid and Adrenal Fatigue) so its a self-perpetuating cycle.
From what I’ve read chocolate has other health benefits, and I generally am a believer that unprocessed, natural foods are good for us. So I am supporter of chocolate and coffee. On the chocolate side though, I only buy the unsweetened kind, and sweeten with Stevia to keep the carbs out.