For most of us chocolate is irresistible and it is almost impossible to stop chocolate cravings. Understanding its beneficial and adverse effects on health makes it easy to control or stop the cravings.
Some facts about chocolate
This sweet cocoa product is made from the seeds of the cacao plant, native to South America. The mature seeds are fermented and dried. After cleaning they are roasted and the shell is removed to get cocoa nibs (pieces of kernel).
Pure and rough form is obtained by grinding the cocoa nibs into cocoa mass. This is also called chocolate liquor as it is liquefied and molded for various uses. This liquor is also processed to make cocoa solids and cocoa butter.
Baking chocolate: This is the raw and pure form without other ingredients or sugar, containing varying proportions of cocoa solids and cocoa butter. It is the starter for various other forms.
Sweet chocolate: This is the most consumed form and made from cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar or sweeteners, oils or fat and other flavoring agents. This is the form for which many people develop cravings.
Milk chocolate: This has cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar and milk in it.
White chocolate: This form contains, cocoa butter, milk, sugar. Cocoa solids are not added to it.
Sugar is the main ingredient making, otherwise bitter tasting, raw chocolate edible. This added sugar leads to many health problems. In fact dark chocolate, having minimal sugar and cocoa butter has many health benefits.
Tips on how to stop chocolate cravings?
Nutrient mineral cravings: It is rich in magnesium and if an individual has nutritional deficiency of magnesium, he may develop cravings for its source.
Women during periods lose considerable amount iron from their body and they develop chocolate cravings as it has considerable amounts of iron in it.
In such cases taking supplements containing magnesium or iron will satiate the desire.
Sugar cravings: Actually it may be sweet cravings, possibly due to hormonal imbalances in serotonin and insulin.
In such cases consult a doctor for treatment of the disorder. Unhealthy dieting, skipped meals and energy starvation also trigger desire for sweets which our mind may associate with chocolate. Consult a dietitian for your food schedule.
Mood boosting: Chocolates contain some amounts caffeine phenylethylamine and anandamide. These chemicals give the feeling of well being and euphoria.
As these have mood boosting effects, loneliness and boredom may trigger the cravings. Keep yourself in positive mood and make yourself busy with interesting activities. Going in for mood boosting activities and entertainment will make you oblivious of this sweet.
Underlying psychological issues: Individuals lacking love, and self-confidence may try to find solace with their sweets. Analysis of these deeper emotions with a help of a counsellor may do lots of good.
Have a partner in quitting: If a close friend or a family member is also inclined to stop chocolate cravings it becomes much easier as both of you can plan your actions and guide one another.
Brisk walk: In some studies it was found that a brisk walk or exercise for 15 minutes can reduce and stop the cravings.
Resisting the craving temptations may not be easy but very much possible to stop. Condition your mind and focus on all its possible negative impacts on your health. Then it gets easier to stop the cravings.
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