Indulging in chocolate frequently is one thing, and craving it is another, very different thing. In most cases, cravings for chocolate are due to the stimulants it contains, not its sugar content. Chocolate is packed with stimulants and mood elevators, such as caffeine, beta-phenylethylamine and theobromide.
Mineral deficiency is yet another reason for strong chocolate cravings. Chocolate, processed dark chocolate, not the milk chocolate found in stores, is high in magnesium and chocolate cravings often indicate a magnesium deficiency.
Therefore, if you crave chocolate more than what is considered “normal”, add more magnesium-rich foods in your daily diet, such as pine nuts, almonds, peanuts, soybeans, bananas, figs, oats, wheat, leafy veggies, spinach, bran from rice, etc.
Additionally, cravings for chocolate can often sign dehydration, or an emotional trigger, especially if you are depressed or under stress.
An average chocolate milkshake contains up to 65 grams of sugar and more than 350 calories. On the other hand, the chocolate smoothie presented in this article has the same chocolate flavor, without the high calorie value. It is delicious and capable of curbing cravings and improving your mood thanks to its serotonin-boosting ingredients.
Raw Cacao (and protein powder)
Real cacao is loaded with phytonutrients that lower blood pressure, combat cardiovascular disease, and treat fatigue. Due to its bitter taste, often only as little as 10 percent cacao is used in mainstream chocolate bars.
Adding raw cacao to this smoothie keeps the phytonutrients and all the beneficial compounds, while adding protein powder combats the bitterness.
Spinach adds both thickness and mood-boosting properties to this smoothie. It also helps raise serotonin levels and supplies the body with iron. Serotonin is a naturally-occurring chemical that offers better sleep patterns, promotes healthy appetite, and supports good mood.
It is worth mentioning that you won`t even taste spinach it in this smoothie, so don’t worry about it.
Flaxseeds are packed with omega-3 fats, and studies also show that flaxseed can inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. They have been also shown to boost the production of serotonin.
In case you lack fiber in your diet, note that flaxseed provides 4 grams in only a teaspoon. Adding more fiber to your diet helps reduce post-meal sluggishness and blood glucose levels.
Psyllium is the husk of the seed from Plantago plant and is known for its ability to cleanse the system, while making you feel fuller for an extended period of time.
Unsweetened Almond Milk
Almond milk is far superior to dairy in terms of elevating mood. According to a 2011 study published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Proteome Research, people with metabolic syndrome who consume a handful of almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts on a daily basis exhibited a rise in their serotonin levels.
Chocolate Protein Smoothie
- 1 handful of raw cacao nibs
- 1 handful of spinach leaves
- A few scoops of chocolate flavored whey protein
- 15 g flaxseeds (ground)
- 1 handful of powdered psyllium husks
- A cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 15 g nut butter
- Put all the ingredients in a blender/ food processor
- Blend for half a minute
- Drink right away!