Healthy Eating

Is This The Secret to Curbing Your Cravings?

New studies find that your chocolate cravings might actually be a sign of a nutrient deficiency and not,  your body sabotaging another healthy diet after all!

When you get a hankering for something specific, it’s often an indication that you’re experiencing a deficiency in a particular micro or macro nutrient. “A craving for chocolate could highlight a magnesium deficiency” says nutritionist Emily Whitehead from Better You (betteryou.com).

What are the Benefits?

Magnesium is an essential mineral and is required for over 300 enzyme reactions in the body; it is required for creating strong healthy bones, maintaining blood-sugar levels, aiding digestion and regulating blood pressure. With so many health benefits, you might be wondering why you haven’t heard of this before- but don’t worry- you’re probably already eating magnesium in your diet, without even realising it! The magnesium element is found in everything, from dairy products to whole grains and leafy greens – phew!

Am I Deficient?

Because magnesium is used by the entire body, you’ll soon know if you’re running low. The NHS suggests that women should have an intake of 270mg a day and if you fall below, it may have adverse effects on your mood, causing symptoms such as irritability, insomnia and anxiety (nhs.uk).  It can also have effects on your physical body and may result in headaches, muscle ache and long-term fatigue.

Is That Why I’m Tired?

It’s a well known joke that chocolate cravings go hand in hand with PMS, and finally we have the research to justify this! During this time, women often experience extreme lows in their regular magnesium levels and this could effect them in more ways than we’ve ever thought before. Research shows that low magnesium levels may be the cause of your tiredness and that women, who take magnesium supplements during this time, have found that this alleviated many of their PMS symptoms, without the need for that dairy milk!

What Can I Do?

Luckily the symptoms of magnesium deficiency can be swiftly reversed. Emily suggests eating chocolate with a high cocoa percentage could rapidly increase your magnesium intake and quickly reduce the signs of deficiency. An increase in other foods, such as brown rice, fish and nuts could also be a surefire way to increase your magnesium consumption and reduce symptoms. If You’re looking to curb your chocolate cravings, there’s a range of magnesium supplement pills and even magnesium sprays and oils, which can be absorbed through your skin. Just remember that magnesium also contains a slight laxative property, so try to spread your intake across your weekly diet rather than consuming it all in one sitting.


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Holly Tippett Simpson