Chocolate: women crave it, and the more forbidden, the more it is craved. Why though, do so many women fall under the spell of chocolate? Men don’t seem to have the same issues with their chocolate cravings that women do. In fact, only 15% of men report chocolate cravings, but a whopping 40% of women admit to them. While there are no specific studies to prove the reasons for these forbidden desires, there are 3 reasons that may explain why women crave chocolate.
Reason 1: It's Delicious!
This is an easy one. It tastes great! Chocolate satisfies that sweet tooth in an instant. There are many forms of chocolate to choose from, catering to every taste imaginable. It’s rich and creamy texture allow the consumer to savor every moment of eating it. There is nothing quite like chocolate when it comes to desert time. And, if something tastes good, people are prone to want more of it.
Reason 2: It Makes You Feel Good
Chocolate has been shown to stimulate serotonin release, which is a neurotransmitter associated with impacting mood. Increased serotonin levels can decrease anxiety and depression, initiating happy feelings instead. Sugar, an ingredient in chocolate, allows the release of endorphins which can cause feelings of euphoria. Caffeine and theobromine, both found in chocolate, can give women that much needed boost, especially in the middle of a long day. PEA, or phenlythylamine, affects the nervous system, stimulating it through high blood pressure and increased heart rate. This reaction creates feelings that are similar to feelings of love. Anadamine, another substance found in chocolate, may actually duplicate the reactions of marijuana, giving a “high” to the person consuming it, though on a much more limited basis.
Chocolate cravings are even higher for women during PMS. Many people attribute these additional cravings during this time to the fact that women’s moods are affected by PMS, and the good feelings that chocolate produces, are a way to offset the PMS.
Reason 3: Social Reasons
As far back as the Aztec society, chocolate was regarded as a “food of the Gods.“ Only those born into nobility, priests and warriors, were allowed to partake of this tasty treat. This exclusiveness of chocolate caused those who were forbidden to have it to carve it. Ordinary people wanted the luxury of indulging in a piece of chocolate as a way to feel special and pampered. These feelings of indulgence and desire are still associated with chocolate today.
Women crave chocolate for many different reasons, knowing what triggers the urge though, can help control the cravings - or at least reduce them to a manageable level.