Is it possible to be addicted to chocolate?
Although there are similarities between eating chocolate and drug use, generally researchers believe that chocolate “addiction” is not a true addiction. While chocolate does contain potentially mood-altering substances, these are all found in higher concentrations in other less appealing foods such as broccoli.
If you crave chocolate, it doesn't mean your body has a chocolate deficiency, although I think most people would prefer that. Chocolate is high in magnesium. Cravings for it often indicate that your body is deficient in magnesium, which is a common deficiency.
- Chocolate also increases serotonin in the brain, a neurotransmitter responsible for better mood, sleep, and reduction of anxiety. Women have a natural decrease in serotonin in the brain in the week before menstruation, so this may partially explain the specific craving for chocolate during this time.
- One common symptom of PMS is craving particular types of food. For some women, this food is chocolate! Just like other PMS symptoms, such as cramping, bloating, and moodiness, cravings are likely caused by fluctuations in your hormones. Some women crave salty foods, others sweets and others fatty foods.
- While cravings can mean a number of things including psychological reasons, a strong craving usually indicates your body is low in a specific nutrient, vitamin or mineral. The foods you crave may NOT contain that nutrient and often the person eats unhealthy empty calories in place of nutrient-dense wholefoods.
Here are 19 foods that can help you fight your sugar cravings.
- Fruit. When most people feel sugar cravings, they reach for high-fat, high-sugar foods like chocolate (1).
- Dark Chocolate.
- Snack Bars.
- Chia Seeds.
- Sugar-Free Chewing Gum or Mints.
- If you're ready to win the battle against the sweet stuff, here's a quick look at Body Ecology's top tips to end sugar cravings:
- Avoid processed foods.
- Boost your serotonin.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth naturally.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Keep your blood sugar stable.
- Have plenty of greens.
- Eat more sea vegetables.
- It means your body needs nitrogen, which is found in high-protein foods like fish, meat, nuts, and beans. Eat a turkey burger, a handful of almonds, or a black bean burrito bowl (black beans, corn, pico de gallo, guacamole and brown rice).
- Drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines and nicotine hijack this brain system. Activation of this system leads to intense feelings of reward that can result in cravings and addiction. So drugs and sugar both activate the same reward system in the brain, causing the release of dopamine.
Well, the Crave Cycle may be to blame! When you eat something sweet and sugar goes into your body the sugar blocks the absorption of essential minerals, including calcium and magnesium. And scientific studies have proven that a deficiency in these two micronutrients actually causes sugar cravings!
- If you're still feelin' salty foods, skip the French fries and potato chips for these healthy swaps.
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries. PIN IT. Photo by Haley Durham.
- Air-popped Popcorn. PIN IT.
- Kale Chips. PIN IT.
- Hummus and Carrots. PIN IT.
- Honey Wheat Pretzels. PIN IT.
- Edamame. PIN IT.
- Avocado with Cottage Cheese. PIN IT.
- Nuts. PIN IT.
- Addison's disease, or adrenal insufficiency, occurs when the adrenal glands do not make enough hormones. As a result, Addison's disease can cause very low blood pressure and sudden cravings for salt. Besides salt cravings, people with Addison's disease may experience: weakness.
- Zinc is needed for proper insulin and glucose utilization; a deficiency can also lead to sugar cravings. Supplement with L-glutamine. This amino acid has been found to help reduce, and even eliminate, cravings by helping to steady blood sugar.
Updated: 20th October 2018