According to Marla Ahlgrimm, while some women keep track of their menstrual cycles with cramps, bloating, and fatigue, others simply look at their plates. Many women, explains Ahlgrimm, crave certain foods during and just after ovulation. It is not uncommon for women to have specific cravings that often include chocolate or salty carbohydrates.
Over the course of her professional experience, Marla Ahlgrimm has noted a woman’s craving for chocolate may actually be linked more to her body’s need for magnesium than an actual weakness for sweets. Since chocolate is a perfect combination of sugar and fat, it may be the ideal food for boosting endorphin levels which typically surge in the days before ovulation. A craving for salty carbohydrates, like chocolate, may also be the body trying to replenish certain types of fats and/or energy expended during the menstrual cycle.
Unfortunately, while candy bars and potato chips may offer the body a quick fix, fatty foods can have an adverse effect on a woman’s health if over-consumed. Marla Ahlgrimm suggests giving in"to cravings but doing so with what she calls the “dose response.” The dose response, explains Marla Ahlgrimm, is literally responding to the body’s cravings with a “healthy dose” of what it wants. For instance, a woman craving candy could eat a small number of chocolate morsels and feel just as satisfied as if she ate an entire candy bar.
While no one can definitively explain why certain women crave specific foods during the menstrual cycle, one thing is for certain: giving the body what it needs allows it to recover and helps thwart feelings of discontent. In essence, Marla Ahlgrimm calls food cravings the great mood moderator.