What is my body lacking when I crave chocolate?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

When I have intense cravings for chocolate, I often wonder what my body might be lacking. It turns out that low magnesium levels are often blamed for chocolate cravings. Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a role in numerous bodily functions, including energy production, muscle and nerve function, and DNA synthesis.

I remember reading about a study that found a correlation between low magnesium levels and chocolate cravings. In the study, participants who had low magnesium levels reported more frequent and intense chocolate cravings compared to those with normal magnesium levels. This led researchers to believe that the body may be seeking out chocolate as a way to fulfill its magnesium needs.

It’s interesting to note that magnesium deficiency is quite common, with studies estimating that around 50% of people in the United States don’t get enough magnesium in their diets. This could potentially explain why chocolate cravings are so prevalent.

So, why does the body turn to chocolate specifically when it’s low in magnesium? One theory is that chocolate contains relatively high levels of magnesium compared to other foods. Dark chocolate, in particular, tends to have higher magnesium content than milk chocolate. This could explain why many people crave dark chocolate specifically when they’re low in magnesium.

Of course, it’s important to note that not all chocolate cravings are necessarily indicative of a magnesium deficiency. Sometimes, cravings for chocolate can simply be a result of our brain’s association of chocolate with pleasure and reward. But if you find yourself consistently craving chocolate and suspect a magnesium deficiency, it might be worth considering increasing your magnesium intake through dietary sources such as leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

It’s also worth mentioning that cravings for other specific foods, such as meat or cheese, are often seen as a sign of low iron or calcium levels, respectively. Our bodies have a remarkable way of signaling what they need, and fulfilling these cravings can help correct nutrient deficiencies.

While chocolate cravings may be linked to low magnesium levels, it’s important to consider other factors as well. It’s always a good idea to listen to your body and provide it with the nutrients it needs. If you’re concerned about your nutrient intake, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide personalized advice based on your specific needs.