You may try to avoid temptation when those sugar cravings strike... but a new company is giving you a healthy reason to reach for the treats.
It takes superhuman levels of willpower to resist chocolate when you're on your period (and let's not even discuss how hard this is when you're dealing with pregnancy cravings)—but what if we told you that indulging your urge to chow down on a brownie may have a surprisingly healthy effect?
Enter Moon Cycle Bakery, a line of baked goods that, according to founder Devon Loftus, can help women balance their hormones.
The idea for Moon Cycle Bakery came to Loftus in an unexpected place: At her bachelorette party. Her now-husband met the party with a homemade chocolate cake in hand, and all the women in Loftus' group sat in silence and devoured the cake.
"Eventually, the silence was broken by one of our good friends [Summer] who came over, tapped [my now-husband] on the shoulder and said, 'I just needed to tell you, this is the best thing I have ever eaten. And I don’t know if it’s because I’m about to get my period or not, but I almost cried,'" Loftus recounted to Parents.com. "...When I woke up the next morning, I realized there was something here...Summer’s comment popped into my head and I realized the power in gifting someone. I realized that so many women were craving something to nourish their souls as much as their bodies—a time of the month where they felt seen, heard, held and gifted. A time where they embraced and even relished in their bodies and the amazing cycle that happens (with all its ups and downs). There were women who were ready to shed the stigma and talk about periods as naturally as they occur in our bodies. There were women who were ready to believe that they could satisfy their cravings and nourish their bodies."
This led Loftus to found a company that would support women through those hormonal ups and downs.
"I knew I wanted to empower women through choice and knowledge," she said. "Wellness has been such a huge part of my life and has assisted in helping me through really hard times—a gift that I wanted to make easier for others to attain. I wanted women to fill their bodies with goodness as much as their souls."
So how exactly do these snacks help you balance your hormones? It's all about the right ingredients.
"Each treat has been researched and designed with hormone balancing ingredients in mind," Loftus explained. "For example, studies show that ginger—when eaten two days before your period and continued through the first 3 days of your period—can have the same effect as a NSAID and can drastically help decrease cramping. Increasing magnesium in the diet during the second half of the menstrual cycle, when both estrogen and progesterone are elevated, can help relieve PMS-related symptoms, such as headaches, bloating, constipation, low blood sugar, dizziness, fluid retention and sugar cravings. Lucky for us, cacao is high in magnesium (which is one reason we crave chocolate during our cycles), so you’ll see cacao in several of our treats."
Moon Cycle Bakery also adds ingredients that can provide benefits that go beyond your cycle, by using herbs from traditional Chinese medicine that can assist with your stress response and reduce fatigue.
Yeah, it might be good for you, but are they really good? 'Cause let's face it: These ingredients aren't what we really want when we're working with cravings unless they taste great.
They sound pretty decadent to us: Moon Cycle Bakery offers up items like a raspberry black bean brownie, a matcha coconut bite and a chocolate cup. The best part? These can be delivered right to your door—you can choose from the brand's three delivery options to have them arrive when you reach the PMS point of your cycle—though you can eat them at any point.
"These treats can help anyone in any part of their cycle—and really anyone who experiences hormonal shifts, stress, etc.), but they are particularly great for women who are trying to conceive, are pregnant or postpartum because of the hormone imbalances that occur during each of these phases," Loftus said. "Our treats can help balance hormones and also assist in serving as a healthy, low-glycemic treat—honey or maple syrup instead of processed sugar—to grab for when the cravings kick in. They can also help with certain symptoms such as morning sickness (hello, ginger!) or again, offer a healthy dose of magnesium to keep digestion moving in the right direction and aid in reducing pregnancy-induced insomnia by relaxing our muscles and guiding us to sleep. Flax seeds will help reduce inflammation in the body—perfect for an ever growing, changing body or a body looking to conceive—and the act of self-care and satisfaction alone is so needed and DEEPLY deserved during these phases."