Sweet treat or constant craving, many of us are hooked on the boost that chocolate gives, but as we celebrate World Chocolate Day (7th July) we have asked nutritionist Emily Whitehead to explain why there could be another reason for our choc compulsion.
On average Brits eats around three bars of chocolate per week. But before you reach for your next chocolate bar, stop to consider why it is that your craving it.
Deficiency or sweet tooth?
Cravings for specific foods could be an indication of a deficiency in a micro or macro nutrient. In particular, a craving for chocolate could highlight a magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium is an essential mineral and is required for over 300 enzyme reactions in the body. So, try eating a good quality dark chocolate bar (preferably organic and above 70 per cent cocoa) which is a rich source of magnesium, or try a magnesium supplement to see if your cravings subside.
More than just cravings
Despite its prevalence, magnesium deficiency still fails to be top of mind for many. A study by the laboratory Mineral Check found that 70 per cent of 8,000 people tested had a lower than expected magnesium levels.
Deficiency impacts the body’s ability to function properly, causing symptoms including migraine, irritability, anxiety, extreme fatigue, insomnia, irregular heartbeat and lack of concentration.
So, if you find yourself suffering with these symptoms and often crave chocolate, it may not just be a sweet tooth you have, you may actually be suffering from magnesium deficiency!