These chocolate bars are my new PMS potion.
I made these bars with a special purpose in mind. If you struggle with PMS symptoms of bloating or constipation during your luteal phase (the phase leading up to your menstruation phase), then you may find these bars to be a great addition to your diet during that time. Two of the main ingredients in these bars are cacao butter and cacao powder. I mentioned in my IGTV candida grocery haul video that there is a difference between cocoa and cacao. If you want to get the nutritional benefits then you are going to want to opt for cacao, instead of cocoa. I go into depth about the difference between cacao and cocoa in my dairy free hot chocolate blog post.
In that blog post I talk about how cacao is an excellent food source of magnesium, iron, and antioxidants. All of these nutrients are super important to consume within the diet around the time of your period.
An important function of magnesium, which is found in cacao, is the role it can play in reducing PMS symptoms. Magnesium is often at its lowest during menstruation, which is why many symptoms of pain, cramping, and headaches may be alleviated when magnesium levels are replenished. Magnesium is involved in estrogen metabolism, it can relax smooth muscle tissue, which is why magnesium may be beneficial in easing menstrual cramps.
Zinc also plays an important role in the menstrual cycle. Many women that take the birth control pill can develop an imbalance between zinc and copper. For some, the birth control pill can increase copper levels and decrease zinc levels, leading to anxiety.
Eating pumpkin seeds, which contain zinc, before menstruation may help with PMS related anxiety, that is if the imbalance has arised from the birth control pill.
If you experience anxiety, nervousness, unstable emotions, mood swings, or paranoia during your luteal phase, that of which is unrelated to the birth control pill, this can be due to a number of reasons. Most often this can be due to a deficiency of progesterone and subsequent estrogen dominance in the latter half of the menstrual cycle. This can also lead to low serotonin (feel good hormone) and high cortisol (stress hormone).
In addition to eating these delicious chocolate bars, it would also be beneficial to consume cruciferous vegetables during your luteal phase because they contain a compound in them called indole-3-carbinol which aids in detoxing estrogen from the liver, thus alleviating some estrogen dominance symptoms.
Boosting serotonin can be done naturally through food too. This can be supported through consuming foods that contain tryptophan (precursor to serotonin), such as avocado or poultry (turkey and chicken). If you struggle with PMS symptoms of anxiety, nervousness, mood swings, pain, or cramping, I would definitely recommend having a dinner that includes crispy chicken thighs, sweet potato (lubricating food for the GI tract), and a cruciferous vegetable (kale, broccoli, chard, cauliflower), etc, with a cacao bar for desert.
Here is the recipe for my superfood chocolate bars!
1 cup cacao butter
1/2 cup cacao powder
4 tbsp yacon syrup (can sub for maple syrup, please see info about yacon syrup in the notes)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sunbutter
1/3 cup puffed quinoa
3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
3 tbsp goji berries
Prepare a loaf tin with parchment paper (about 9 x 5).
In a small pot on medium heat melt the cacao butter. Then add in the cacao powder, yacon syrup, vanilla and sunbutter. Use a whisk to mix everything around.
Once everything has melted and is thoroughly mixed together (no clumps), remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
Then stir in the puffed quinoa, pumpkin seeds, and goji berries. Using a spatula, mix everything around again.
Transfer to the prepared loaf tin with parchment paper. Allow to cool completely before transferring to the freezer. Allow to set in the freezer for about 4 hours.
Remove from the freezer, store in the fridge or enjoy immediately!
You can take these bars out of the fridge and take them to go, they stay solid at room temperature too.
Yacon syrup is derived from the edible part of a yacon plant, it is much lower in sugar compared to other syrups. Yacon syrup contains fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which is an indigestible polysaccharide. Fructooligosaccharides are a prebiotic food, meaning they are a great source of food for beneficial bacteria that live within our gut microbiome.
Yacon syrup is excellent for repopulating the healthy bacteria levels within the gut post candida cleansing. It is important to note that if you are currently struggling with any sort of dysbiosis, especially candida, it would be best to avoid yacon syrup until the pathogens have been eradicated. I would recommend using stevia instead if this is the case. I will be making a more candida friendly version of these bars in my candida ebook. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions regarding yacon syrup or the candida ebook!
Did you make this recipe?
I would love to see how it turned out!
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