So often in practice I hear clients say they are obsessed with chocolate! Why is this? Well there are many reasons as you will see below …
• The sugar and fat content of chocolate is high which gives a certain amount of satiety.
• Tryptophan in chocolate is a precursor to making serotonin in our bodies. Serotonin is thought to contribute to feelings of happiness and wellbeing.
• Chocolate causes a release of dopamine which is the neurotransmitter associated with addictions, euphoria and reward.
• Chocolate contains some theobromine which is an alkaloid, like cocaine and nicotine.
• Endorphins are natural hormones that, when released, give us feelings of pleasure and wellbeing. Chocolate promotes the release of these endorphins.
We can see why so many people are obsessed with chocolate! It makes us feel good and we can become addicted to it!
That is all fine if you eat chocolate in moderation. But what if that obsession with chocolate is interfering with your health and wellbeing? What if you are consuming too much and can’t stop!?
There are some solutions. Here are a few to try:
• Exercise! Exercise! Exercise! Exercise increases the release of serotonin and endorphins so it is a healthy, natural way to feel happy and well.
• Magnesium can reduce chocolate cravings. This wonderful mineral is easily used up in our bodies when we are stressed – a time we often grab the chocolate. Magnesium is naturally found in dark green leafy vegetables (eg lettuces, herbs, asian greens, seaweeds), nuts, seeds, legumes, carob and chicory.
• Chocolate may increase your serotonin but so does laughter, love, meditation, sunlight, exercise, learning a new skill, repetitive motions eg chewing gum or knitting! Maybe it is time to start knitting in front of the TV rather than eating that block of chocolate!
• Chromium helps the body metabolise sugars and can help to balance the blood sugar imbalances that can lead to sugar cravings.
• Gymnema. This herb was traditionally known in India as “Gurmar” which means sugar destroying. It can help to reduce sweet cravings and reduce appetite.
• Go for the dark chocolate with a high cocoa content – at least this will provide some health benefits and it’s more bitter than milk chocolate so you may not eat as much!
* If this doesn't work, book an appointment with me at Avedissian Natural Health!