Do you notice that you crave chocolate every time something stressful happens? Does a mood swing often send you to the store where you buy and sneakily stash a king size Snickers or some chocolaty treat into your purse? If so, there may be a little more to this habit than the idea of comfort food or even a sugar addiction.
Chocolate contains a good amount of a mineral called Magnesium. Amongst other vital roles, Magnesium aids the body in dealing with stress. In one study, over 75% of severely depressed patients showed low levels of magnesium in blood tests. This may sound trivial due to the enormous amount of vitamin and mineral deficiencies in different populations, but it is not when you consider that almost 100% of those who received Magnesium injections showed complete recovery of symptoms*!
Magnesium supplementation also helps women who suffer from mild to severe P.M.S. Similar studies to the one above were done on women approaching menses, and Magnesium's ability to relieve the symptoms of P.M.S. were much like the numbers above. All of these studies lead to the conclusion that Magnesium is vital for mood regulation and is something in which many of us (2/3 of the American Population) are deficient*. So this mineral certainly deserves our attention when it comes to our mood & our craving for chocolate.
In addition, Magnesium regulates bone health to the same extent as Calcium & muscle function to include the health of the heart! One's blood pressure is also effected negatively by a deficiency in this mineral as are blood sugar levels. And this widespread deficiency has been directly correlated with an increase in certain types of cancers.
If this article has made an impression on you, that is a good thing. Here is a list of foods high in Magnesium:
5. Black Beans
6. Pumpkin Seeds
7. Squash Seeds
8. Whole Grains
Oh, and it is key to know that this is not an excuse to eat high sugar, low quality chocolate. If you truly want to do yourself and your health a favor, buy chocolate that is organic and dark or at least good quality stuff. I am going to go get some right now!
*Info from The Magnesium Miracle by Dr. Carolyn Dean
Photo by Stephanie at lickmyspoon.com