Breaking the No 1 Food Addiction – Chocolate
According to the Journal of Nutrition, chocolate is the most widely craved food in America. It’s easy to see why – it tastes good, it’s sensuous – but chocolate also contains key ingredients that may be linked to why we crave it so much.
Chocolate’s reputation as an aphrodisiac stems from its phenylethylamine content, which regulates the body’s release of endorphins. Endorphins are natural mood lifters and often have a calming effect when the body is stressed.
Chocolate also contains traces of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a substance found in marijuana. THC reacts with cells in the brain to release dopamine, one of the neurotransmitters responsible for the release of endorphins. The “high” from marijuana is therefore replicated to a much lesser degree when eating chocolate.
Some nutritionists suggest chocolate cravings suggest a lack of magnesium.
In addition to its “feel good” qualities, chocolate contains large amounts of iron, a mineral that can be depleted during a woman’s menstruation cycle. The next time you’re craving chocolate, consider the reasons behind it, and look for a healthier alternative that will deliver the same results (and satisfy your food cravings).
Breaking Chocolate Cravings
Exercise and sufficient sleep are two of the best natural sources of endorphins and will bring many other added benefits, including stress relief.
To increase your iron intake, you may want to take a daily multivitamin or eat more beans, pumpkin seeds, liver, clams, oysters, mussels and black strap molasses.
To increase your magnesium intake, eat more raw nuts, especially almonds, cashews and pine nuts, oatmeal, pumpkin seeds, beans, spinach and tomato paste.
If you just have to get that chocolate fix, try dark chocolate to reap its antioxidant benefits!