We can’t talk about sugar craving without touch base on chocolate. When I ask my client what their cravings are, chocolate often merits its own category. It has been arguably established that chocolate is the food with the greatest impact on mood. This is why I have decided chocolate craving deserves to have a blog post on its own. For my favourite foods and tips on how to curb sugar craving in general, please visit yesterday’s blog post.
Hands up if you struggle with feeling a bit guilty after enjoying that chocolate bar. If yes, you are definitely not alone. Once in a while, we make food choices that defy “healthy eating rule” we impose upon ourselves immediately feel getting knocked off the “healthy eating” wagon after a little indulgence. I appreciate when clients make dedicated efforts to eat healthy, and I often like to remind them that indulgence should be given a place in this plan as well. Today we are exploring healthy ways to get your chocolate fix.
As always, let’s begin with take a look at why chocolate makes us feel so good.
–Chocolate contains anandamides, the “bliss molecule”:
This name of this molecule is taken from the Sanskrit name “ananda”, meaning joy, bliss and delight. Consuming chocolate definitely have this effect. Anandamides affects our nervous system and can have an addictive effect in large enough quantities.
-Chocolate stimulates the reward centre of the brain, which then unloads happy chemicals into our body, also called the endorphin rush.
-Chocolate contains a small amount of caffeine, which can create a sense of elation and peacefulness.
-Chocolate contains relaxing minerals that help to ease muscle tension. Do you crave chocolate more around that time of the month? Magnesium is nature’s tranquilizer, which also help to relax smooth muscles and reduce tension and cramping.
Now you see indulging in a little bit of chocolate once in a while is not a bad thing at all. Here, nutritionist approved tips:
I encourage you to indulge in some good quality dark chocolate once in a while.
Flavanol found in cocoa powder has been proven to have an positive effect on memory. But if you struggle with cutting back on chocolate, I have share some general tips on taking care of sugar craving in this post. And here are some tips on getting that chocolate fix without over-indulging.
Tip #1: Enjoy dark leafy greens. My favourites are: kale, spinach, collards and broccoli. They are high in the relaxing mineral, magnesium. A nice bowl of delicious salad will help you relax as if you just engulfed a bar of chocolate.
Tip #2: Enjoy some beets. This root vegetable is what I call “the vegetable chocolate” contain nutrients comparable to dark chocolate. If you want to indulge a little without any chocolate, try these beet cookies!
Tip #3: Use good quality cocoa powder. Make a delicious hot chocolate with some organic cocoa powder and non-dairy milk of your choice and sweeten it with stevia. Yum!
Tip #4: Take an epsom salt bath. Epsom salt contains magnesium and this relaxing mineral will get infused into your body and make you feel relaxed.
Tip #5: Bust your craving with some light exercise. I chocolate craving is associated stress. Adding some moderate exercise into your day even for 15-20min can effectively reduce stress and your chocolate cravings.