Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Keep calm and blame it on PMS

“That time of the month”
 can be a frustrating time when going strict on a diet plan. Most women crave chocolate or something to satisfy a sweet tooth, but eating these foods can offset your major goals. Knowing what your body actually needs vs. what your body wants can be very helpful. Researchers at Flinders University in Australia determined that food cravings are partially psychological, but also a result of your body demanding nutrients. Your craving for chocolate may be your bodies’ reaction to low serotonin levels or a magnesium and/or zinc deficiency. PMS symptoms have been linked to low serotonin, zinc and magnesium levels. Chocolate is high in tryptophan which is an essential amino acid the body uses to synthesize proteins.  Your brain produces serotonin from tryptophan resulting in relaxation and a pleasant mood. Chocolate is also high in zinc, which increases serotonin production, and regulates hormone secretion. Chocolate contains high amounts of magnesium as well. The principal function of magnesium is that it enables the muscles to relax. Inadequate amounts of magnesium can cause the muscles to cramp. Make sense why we crave chocolate? Now that you know why your body is craving chocolate you can make smarter decisions during “that time of the month”.  You can feel satisfied without setting yourself back and stay on the right path to reach your goals. Here is a list of tryptophan, zinc and magnesium rich foods:

Tryptophan: Raisins, sweet potato, spinach
Zinc: Red meats, seafood and green leafy veggies
Magnesium: Raw nuts and fruit 

For other healthy substitutes for food cravings click here 


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