Is it an old wives tale or just an excuse to eat chocolate? Once a month during my menstrual cycle I get a serious craving for anything chocolatey, I seem to gravitate to it like a magnet as if my life depended on it and for the record yes at this time I would certainly swap it for sex, not because I don’t feel magic between the sheets but its not on the agenda anyway at this time of month so its a win-win.
Cocoa is the ingredient in chocolate which makes us crazy for it and added to milk and sugar it’s highly addictive but if we look at where cocoa is derived from and what it contains without so much milk and sugar its actually full of great things, not just naughty things.
Cocoa is derived from the cocoa bean which in its purest form is called raw cacao, raw cacao is full of nutrients including a lot of minerals which we lose when we are on our menstrual cycles such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc, so our clever bodies are actually telling us, eat more chocolate as you need this. I love my body for that.
Cocoa, on the other hand, is heat treated and more processed so it does lose some of its nutritional value when it is turned into cocoa but if you really can’t get any joy from raw cacao balls, chose a dark chocolate with over 80% cocoa as you will be getting a lot of health benefits which aren’t removed in processing.
So let’s look at the benefits of Raw Cacao and how else it can improve our health.
- Cacao contains polyphenols which are compounds that can improve mood and reduce stress and irritability.
- Cacao contains more calcium than cow’s milk.
- It’s high in iron, magnesium, and antioxidants.
- Consuming cacao can help with issues such as depression and stress.
- Cacao contains flavanols which improve the level of nitric oxide in your blood, which relaxes and dilates your arteries and blood vessels so improves blood flow, blood pressure and also supports our heart health.
*Skip the chocolate that contains mostly milk and sugar, I know these feel like the best but its because sugar is highly addictive. For us to get the vitamins we need the sugary chocolate bars really don’t have any value for our health, they will just spike our sugar levels and we will feel great for a while but then we will end up feeling bad that we ate so much chocolate and just end up feeling used. Get the good healthy stuff and enjoy, guilt-free.