Are you really craving [insert excuse here]

So you're craving chocolate and some crazy website told you its because you are craving iron or magnesium or telling you some other nutrient.

Great, if that's the case go and eat a steak and get your iron hit? Why not...? Because you're reeeeeeeaaaaaaaallllly craving chocolate.

Cravings can come from all sorts of places, but I'm only going to touch on the choc/iron/magnesium thing. Chocolate has between 35-42 mg of Magnesium and between 0.8 - 1.5mg of Iron. Not a huge amount when you consider 100g of pumpkin seeds has 15mg of Iron and 534mg of magnesium. 

Are you also craving pumpkin seeds? Chocolate stimulates all sorts of wonderful hormones and neurotransmitters, but you might be looking for that hit via its stimulating sugar, theobromine or caffeine content. If you are craving milk chocolate, you may just be craving sugar. If you are craving dark, you may be craving the theobromine. But hey, your body may just be craving general good nutrition.

Chances are, if you are premenstrual, you are craving chocolate because your dopamine (feel good hormone) levels are low.  They drop during PMT, so it stands to reason that you're about to kill someone over a bar of chocolate right now. 

Our body can't really tell us what it craves, so if you are malnourished in some way then you will crave until your body receives the nutrient it is after - and yes, that could well be iron or magnesium. But if you think a bar of chocolate is going to sort that out, you might be very disappointed when you start craving it again the next day.

Plain Cocoa powder is high in magnesium, but you have to eat around 75g of it (around 6-7 TBSP) to get your RDI. And FYI Dried Herbs are packed full of iron and other nutrients - add these to your food regularly Best thing to do is eat a well balanced diet full of fresh fruit and veg and lean meats (if not vegetarian) to ensure your body doesn't need to crave. Have your chocolate as a treat... not a source of nutrition.