6 Things to Eat When You’re Craving Chocolate

You wake up ready and committed to kicking that sugar habit this week. Your fridge is stocked with sweet, fresh fruit, and you already made lunch plans at that new Mediterranean place that favors hummus over hot fudge sundaes. And then suddenly, before you know it, it’s 8 p.m., and the siren-call of the chocolate bar stashed away in your pantry is too powerful to resist.

Cravings strike for countless reasons, some more obvious than others. You may already know that insufficient sleep and elevated stress levels can lead to craving more (and often worse-for-you) food, but certain cravings could be linked to nutritional deficiencies. Chocolate is often one of them.

Chocolate Isn’t Really What You’re Craving

close up on a woman's hands holding a bitten piece of chocolate bar

“There are two types of hunger,” Amy Gorin, RDN, of Amy Gorin Nutrition told Everyday Health. “Homeostatic hunger, or the physical need to eat, and hedonic hunger, the desire to eat foods for pleasure.”

Hedonic hunger is linked to psychological triggers. It helps explain why you might want to reach for a chocolate bar when you’re feeling sad, or dejected. Homeostatic hunger and its attendant cravings, however, could arise due to deficiencies in certain nutrients and minerals.

If you’re in an emotionally stable and healthy mental place and still find yourself craving chocolate, it’s likely that you’re experiencing a magnesium deficiency.

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium, the partner mineral to calcium, is known for its relaxation and anti-stress properties.

Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is very high in magnesium, so an insatiable craving for it—whether your pleasure is silky, milk chocolate or rich, dark chocolate—could indicate that you really need to load up on magnesium-rich foods.

What to Eat When You’re Craving Chocolate

Next time you’re craving chocolate, try eating one of these magnesium-rich foods instead.

1. Raw Cacao

Let’s get this out of the way: a heaping tablespoon of raw cacao isn’t going to immediately satisfy your sweet tooth in the same way your favorite candy bar might. Cacao is high in magnesium, though, so try adding a spoonful to your morning smoothie, or even sprinkle it into a warm bowl of oatmeal.

couple having breakfast together in bed

2. Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are the triple threat: they’re high in magnesium, they’re extremely satiating, and  they’re easy to sneak into your diet, whether mixed into salad, added to trail mix, or sprinkled on top of soup.

Two tablespoons of dried pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas) will provide you with 96 mg of magnesium, for example. Brazil nuts, flaxseed, cashews, sunflower seeds and almonds are all great options, too.

3. Dark Leafy Greens

Throw them in a smoothie (they’re practically undetectable), use them as the base of a hearty salad, sauté them with your favorite veggies and protein or even roast them into chips.

4. Lentils

Hearty and heart-healthy, lentils are rich in protein, fiber and magnesium.  You’ll feel more energized, satiated, and relaxed after eating a serving or two.

What to Eat When You're Craving Chocolate

5. Bananas

Bananas are high in magnesium and potassium. Might I suggest enjoying a banana with a spoonful of your favorite nut butter, for that extra dose of magnesium?

6. Tofu

One 3.5-ounce serving of tofu contains 13 percent of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of magnesium at an impressive 53 mg. Throw it in a stir fry with some dark leafy greens to reap the most benefits.

85 comments

Jeramie D
Jeramie D22 days ago

Thanks

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Emma L
Ellie Labout a month ago

Thank you

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Jeanne M
Jeanne M2 months ago

If I want chocolate, then I'm going to have a piece of chocolate.

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Dennis Hall
Dennis H2 months ago

Thank you.

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Hannah A
Hannah A2 months ago

thank you

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maria r
maria reis2 months ago

uh!!!

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lynda leigh
lynda l2 months ago

Next time you’re craving chocolate, try eating magnesium-rich foods instead.

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Wendy Harris
Wendy Harris2 months ago

Going to my Stash now. Byeeeeeeeeeee!

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Angela K
Angela K2 months ago

noted

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Thomas S
Thomas S2 months ago

when I'm craving chocolate, I eat chocolate................

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