There is one way I always know I’m about to get my period and that’s when I look down at my fuzzy bunny slippers and I realize it’s 2 o’clock in the freaking morning and I’m scavenging through my kitchen cabinets like a desperate (but exhausted) raccoon to fulfill an urgent quest for some delicious chocolate. That’s right folks; I am a chocolate fiend––*especially* on my period. Chocolate is ah-mazing all the time, but let’s be honest, it hits so different when it’s that time of the month. Don’t you think? Let’s find out if there is some science behind this or if we are both just some crazy chocoholics staring at each other...
While at Viv we totally recognize the need for advancements in women’s health, there has been a decent amount of research on the all-too familiar phenomenon called PMS, or premenstrual syndrome. As many menstruators experience, it is a group of symptoms that occur between ovulation and a period. Amongst many PMS symptoms are food cravings. Some research suggests the craving of chocolate as a PMS symptom is due to a decrease in progesterone and oestrogen (two major hormones produced by a womxn’s ovaries) that happens just before our period arrives. In turn, we end up feeling like we could eat everything in our fridge. At the same time, our feel good friend serotonin takes a slight dip and cortisol (our stress hormone) increases. Wow. That’s a lot to take in. To wrap it all up, our hormone levels basically change in a way that creates the perfect storm for those late night chocolate quests. Yum!
But before you attribute your chocolate addiction on your menstrual cycle hormones, it is super important to mention that limited research has supported this theory. Instead, we know for a fact that these hormone changes occur, but whether or not they correlate with chocolate consumption directly is another question that needs more research before we can definitively reach our answer. In fact, some research suggests that chocolate cravings around your period can be attributed to cultural conditioning––aka the way society influences our thinking. One study mentioned in Psychology Today found that chocolate cravings even occurred in menstruators when progesterone and oestrogen were at their lowest levels during the menstrual cycle when their hormone levels were not yet changing. A researcher by the name of Julia Hormes suggests that the real reason menstruators crave chocolate is actually a stress response to the stress of oncoming bleeding. Think about it. What is one way American society deals with stress? Watch one cheesy rom com and you will find the answer: chocolate, chocolate, and a shit more chocolate!
There you have it menstruators! Your chocolate cravings around your period are likely less attributed to cold hard science and more attributed to the psychology of how we deal with stress––especially those coping strategies that are more common in your culture. I’d like to end this week’s blog with the important note that at Viv for your V we believe in body positivity and fueling our bodies in ways that make us feel good. If you are craving a chocolate bar, then by all means we encourage you to enjoy it! We are kicking diet culture to the curb and taking care of our bodies by giving them the love they deserve. Your body is a work of damn art, so rock it Kweens!
Viv For Your V
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