The study claims that eating chocolate relieves menstrual pain
- Experts have found that listening to music also helps reduce menstrual discomfort
- Researchers followed 84 students at Manisa Celal Bayar University in Turkey
- Eating only 40 mg of dark chocolate per day for four days significantly reduces pain
It is indeed the treatment of choice for millions of women who suffer from painful periods.
Scientists claim that eating chocolate is really beneficial.
This is as long as women eat a small amount of the darker variety in the days leading up to their appearance.
A study of 84 female nursing students found that listening to soothing music also helps reduce discomfort during the first day of menstruation.
Turkish experts believe that the endorphins released by the body after eating chocolate and listening to music help reduce pain and act as a natural sedative.
Turkish experts have found that eating dark chocolate or listening to music helps reduce menstrual pain and anxiety during the first day of menstruation
Scientists have found that cocoa can lower blood pressure and protect your heart
Next time you’re craving something sweet, opt for dark chocolate.
Scientists have found that flavanols – the antioxidants found in cocoa – can keep your heart healthy by lowering blood pressure.
They do this by keeping blood vessel walls flexible, allowing blood to flow through the body more easily.
Milk chocolate is probably still not a good idea because it is high in sugar and can contain no more than 25 percent cocoa.
But the strength of dark chocolate can be as high as 90 percent.
A study by the University of Surrey found that people who took cocoa supplements experienced lower blood pressure and more dilated blood vessels within three hours.
The cereal contained a number of flavanols equal to about half a kilogram of dark chocolate – which is usually sold in 100-gram pieces.
Nine out of 10 women in the UK and 80 per cent in the US will experience period pain at some point in their lives.
It is caused by tightening of the muscles around the uterus, which cuts off the blood supply to the organ, causing the tissues to release chemicals that cause pain.
Conditions such as endometriosis, fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease and adenomyosis can cause discomfort during periods.
The NHS recommends taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen and aspirin to help relieve pain as well as warming the abdomen.
The latest study, published in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine, followed women between the ages of 18 and 25 studying at Manisa Celal Bayar University.
Ninety students were originally included and all rated PMS as scoring at least five out of 10.
But six dropped out because they wanted to take painkillers. None of those given chocolate gave up.
The volunteers were randomly divided into three groups of 30 volunteers – a control group that gave nothing about their pain, a chocolate group and a music group.
The chocolate group had 40 mg of dark chocolate, which contained 60 percent cocoa — the equivalent of a bar of cocoa. For example, a medium-sized bar, such as the one sold by Cadbury’s and Galaxy, contains up to 200 grams of chocolate.
They were asked to eat chocolate in the three days leading up to and on the first day of their period.
Volunteers in the music group listened to a song of 29 minutes and 32 seconds per day during the same period.
The song was composed by neuroscientist Juan Sebastian Martin Saavedra, with the goal of studying the effect of music on pain for a separate study.
The slow orchestral piece is designed to be quiet and slow.
Participants were asked about their pain on the first day of their period at the start of the study.
They were also tested at the same point at the end of the study, which allowed the researchers to see if their discomfort had changed.
Another questionnaire was used to assess their anxiety levels at regular intervals throughout the study.
The results showed that the average level of pain decreased from six to five out of ten in the chocolate group after they started eating it.
It dropped from seven to six in the musical group, while remaining at six in the control group.
Anxiety levels decreased by 18 percent in the chocolate group, 13 percent in the music group and not at all in the control group.
The team, led by Dr. Asli Karakos Selcuk, claimed that dark chocolate and music can be used to help with dysmenorrhea – the medical term for menstrual pain.
Writing in the journal, they wrote, ‘Both dark chocolate and music medicine had a significant effect in reducing menstrual pain and anxiety in young women with primary dysmenorrhea.
It may be suggested that dark chocolate or musical medicine can be used safely and effectively as nursing interventions in primary dysmenorrhea to control menstrual pain and anxiety.
More research is needed to draw stronger conclusions about the effect of musical medicine and dark chocolate.