Look, we all try our best to be healthy. But let’s get real, the day you need my help is not when you’re at your best; It’s when you’ve eaten the entire box of chocolates.
Let’s get real, you’re a chocoholic.
As we get started, give yourself a break. Turns out, your lack of willpower might not be to blame.
What’s Going On In Your Body:
Sometimes a craving is an indication that you’re missing key minerals or vitamins (micronutrients).
Did you know that a 100 gram (3.5 oz.) bar of 70-85% cocoa has 58% of the RDA for magnesium?!
A chocolate craving could very well be your body’s plea for more magnesium.
But don’t get too excited, eating more chocolate is not the solution. (<–sorry!) It turns out we can’t talk about magnesium deficiency without addressing the underlying culprit, SUGAR.
So let’s assume you are deficient in magnesium, which is triggering a strong chocolate (lots of sugar!) craving. By ingesting sugar when you eat chocolate, you’re actually making your magnesium deficiency worse, as sugar depletes magnesium.
Even worse, sugar produces “the same chemicals found in heroin and cocaine — which makes you want those foods even more.”
So, this cycle–eating chocolate when you’re magnesium deficient– is self-destructive:
It’s no wonder you can’t control your chocolate cravings!
Other signs of magnesium deficiency include trouble sleeping, trouble staying asleep, anxiety, muscle spasms and cramping, to name a few.
So if this sounds like you, what’s your game plan?
There are tests for micronutrient deficiencies, but chances are your primary care doctor won’t order one of these and they are pretty expensive out of pocket. Instead, try introducing more magnesium rich foods and see how you feel. The optimal amount of magnesium is 400 mg per day.
Here are some great (non-chocolate!) sources of magnesium: source.
- 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds = 48% of daily recommendation of magnesium
- 1 cup cooked spinach = 39% daily recommendation of magnesium
- 1 cup cooked chard = 38% daily recommendation of magnesium
- 1 cup cooked soybeans = 37% daily recommendation of magnesium
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds = 32% daily recommendation of magnesium
- 3/4 cup cooked quinoa = 30% daily recommendation of magnesium
Unfortunately, just eating more magnesium isn’t necessarily enough. You need to make sure you’re properly absorbing it. Do you fall into one of the categories below? source. If so, it might be time to make some changes.
- You eat a lot of high sugar, processed foods. These cause the kidneys to excrete magnesium
- You drink soda, which contain phosphates. These phosphates hinder absorption of magnesium.
- You’re chronically stressed or are recovering from an illness. Your body needs more magnesium in these circumstances.
- You drink caffeine on a regular basis, which cause your kidneys to excrete too much magnesium.
- You take certain medications like birth control pills or diuretics. Again, those kidneys are releasing too much magnesium!
- You take a calcium supplement that doesn’t have a 1:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium.
Eating less processed foods and cutting back on sodas are easy changes to make.
But, if there are things you’re not willing to change (say, your trusty birth control pill), you might want to consult your doctor or nutritionist for a recommendation for a magnesium supplement.
Join the conversation!
Are you a chocoholic? Do you get enough magnesium? Did my photos of chocolate make you crave it, too 😆 ?
The above post is part of my new Monday series–GET REAL GUIDES–which delivers real advice for when your life feels like a hot mess. Unexplained bloating, adult acne, cravings and hangovers, I’m looking at you!
In less than 4 minutes, you can learn valuable tools to successfully tackle relevant (and inevitable) life challenges related to health and nutrition. Because let’s be real, life isn’t all rainbows and kale salads.
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