Chocolate Cravings Out of Control? You're probably iron deficient!
Are you craving chocolate?
Did you know that chocolate cravings are one of the most common symptoms of iron deficiency? Yes, it's true! But that's not all - exhaustion, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, easy bruising, breathlessness, memory loss, and low mood/motivation are also signs that you might be lacking iron.
It's a common misconception that meat is the best source of iron, but even 100g steak has only 19% of your daily needs - so even if you're eating 100g for lunch and dinner, you're still not even half way there. A standard serve of most fruits and veggies have less than 5% - with the exception of spinach - which is 6.6% of a woman's daily needs per cup. So, as you can see, it can be difficult for most people to get enough iron without paying close attention. And that's a problem because iron is essential for making healthy red blood cells that deliver oxygen to your brain, muscles and vital organs.
When we don't get enough iron, our body develops microcytes - tiny red blood cells that carry oxygen very inefficiently. And that's when we start feeling tired, yawning, exhaustion, brain fog, and other symptoms of iron deficiency.
So where does chocolate come in? Well, iron is essential for energy production and for oxygen, which is necessary for energy. Additionally, iron is also crucial for dopamine production, which makes us feel energized and motivated. Chocolate is a source of iron (the good stuff anyway) and contains theobromine, which boosts energy and dopamine. So a bit of dark chocolate is actually quite helpful as a quick fix! Of course, in the longer term, we might want to get to the root of the problem.
Fun fact: iron is also essential for the production of antibodies, so if you're planning on fighting strong this flu season (with or without vaccines), you want to make sure your iron levels are in check.
If you're concerned that you may be iron deficient, schedule a session, and we'll discuss an action plan (including how to get an accurate and thorough blood assessment from your GP) and will help you balance your diet and supplements regime to help you feel your best.
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Until next time, stay Deliciously Healthy!
Jennifer May BHSc.(Nut.Med)Adv.Dip.ATMS