I can’t tell you that it’s been medically proven to reduce cramps and/or PMS because I honestly don’t know. But I can tell you that when I’m PMSing, there are two things that keep me from going on a rampage, and those are Hershey bars with almonds and Cheetos. It’s not so much that they reduce PMS, but rather, they satisfy the cravings I have for them and keep me happy enough to forget that everything is irritating me. So, if it’s chocolate you’re craving, indulge, because it might actually end up helping with cramps and/or PMS just by distracting you enough.
It does not necessarily help me with cramps, but I can tell you for the brief moments I am enjoying whatever chocolate treat (like a chocolate-covered strawberry), it does take my mind off my PMS. However, if I overdo it and I am already bloated, the chocolate thing can backfire on me and increase my frustration level! That is when I try to have my treat and maybe get a walk or run in to even out my mood. I would follow that with a long soak in the tub. All of us have our own comfort techniques, so find out what works and does not work for you. By the way, chocolate in moderation is a good thing in my book.
I have good news for you! Eating a small amount of high-quality chocolate (typically that which has 65% or more “cacao”) may actually help alleviate cramps and PMS. Why? Chocolate contains magnesium, which can help alleviate cramps and increase energy. It also contains endorphins, or “happy hormones,” which can help improve your mood. Finally, dark chocolate is high in antioxidants called flavonoids, which may have a positive impact on your health. Before you use cramps or PMS as an excuse to over-indulge, please be aware that chocolate is high in fat and calories, so the best way to take advantage of its benefits is to limit yourself to a small amount – a couple of pieces or the equivalent of a quarter of a chocolate bar.
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