You've heard it before: it's best to avoid sugar in general but especially for those that see PMS symptoms. Science has even said that consumptions of foods and beverages high in sugar are correlated to PMS symptoms—yikes! Buuuut... sweet treat cravings are also real and we're proponents of living life, so indulge—and do so with this dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free peanut butter chocolate treat (adapted from Rachael DeVaux, RD, CPT, PES // @rachaelgoodeats).
Dark Chocolate: Yup, it has been proven to alleviate PMS symptoms. Research shows that enjoying an ounce and a half of dark chocolate daily for two weeks can reduce stress hormone levels. Plus, it contains magnesium which we all know helps alleviate bloating, fatigue, depression and irritability.
Maple Syrup V. Refined Sugar: The glycemic index defines foods by how quickly it causes your blood sugar to rise. Maintaining blood sugar levels is crucial to balancing hormone related symptoms. When our blood glucose levels rise, so does the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that can further exasperate PMS symptoms. Maple sugar (that's in this recipe) has a lower glycemic index (54) than brown (64) or white (63) sugar. Not to mention that maple syrup also has added benefits of minerals and antioxidants (like riboflavin, manganese, zinc and magnesium) that sugar doesn't.
[[ recipeID=recipe-7kewxo2e6, title=DF / GF PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE TREATS ]]
Rossignol AM, Bonnlander H. Prevalence and severity of the premenstrual syndrome. Effects of foods and beverages that are sweet or high in sugar content. J Reprod Med. 1991;36(2):131–136.