3

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Should I try Natural Calm? maybe it will help with these chocolate cravings?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 08, 2011 at 5:52 PM

I have been hearing good things about the magnesium supplement Natural Calm, should I try it? It seems un-paleo, if you will, kind of like Emergen-C, sort of unnatural?? I have fierce chocolate cravings and have read that it may be due to magnesium deficiency. Also, is it recommended to get the one with additional calcium? I am an active and fit 38-year old woman, generally healthy although I think the years of coffee, chocolate, veganism etc may have contributed to some adrenal fatigue, hence the need to give up cacao for a month or so...as it is a daily strong craving. Thank you!

600c123bacc43bf566c17b19253f5779

(170)

on August 13, 2011
at 08:59 PM

There is no way I need more fat, believe me. And it's not the sugar because I just make up a mix of plain raw cacao powder and coconut oil (plenty of fat!)....but I crave it everyday! Ben61820 is right....must stop...

600c123bacc43bf566c17b19253f5779

(170)

on August 13, 2011
at 08:56 PM

Uh-oh I think David Moss may have hit the nail on the head...

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:32 AM

It's not uncommon to have loose stools at any dose of citrate. Unfortunately, I couldn't tolerate it at all. Not even 100 mg. I also can't tolerate mg glycinate. Or regular mg malate. I pretty much hate that I can only tolerate an expensive time released form of mg malate (Jigsaw Magnesium) but at the same time I'm very grateful it's there. Just wish someone else would start mfg'ing it so the price would (could, may, might) drop.

967229edcc94a66580110324524feb49

(688)

on August 08, 2011
at 11:32 PM

Great question! I just ordered Natural Calm last night and was wondering about the calcium vs plain. I ended up with the calcium since I don't do dairy and a little more calcium is probably good. If you decide to order keep us updated on how/ if affects your cravings.

967229edcc94a66580110324524feb49

(688)

on August 08, 2011
at 11:29 PM

+1 for the honey you are out of bananas...

A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on August 08, 2011
at 08:24 PM

PPFfftt.. phytic acid in chocolate.. damn you and your book learnin..

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 08, 2011
at 07:07 PM

Yeah, and be close to a toilet! I never did get loose stools but it made me feel kind of weird. I switched to malate. If you don't like citrate try malate or glycinate, people do report some problems with citrate for whatever reason. Especially with weird dreams. I actually liked the dreams but the little bit of a groggy feeling wasn't pleasant.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on August 08, 2011
at 07:01 PM

just curious, could it be that you actually need more fat?? When I first started I was craving chocolate, I thought the general advice seemed to be towards getting more fat to cut any cravings. Well, at least for me it worked!! I do use 90% chocolate for any treats but generally I'm not craving it anymore.

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on August 08, 2011
at 06:56 PM

+1, Natural Calm is the shiz! @Love, just make sure you start at the lowest dose and titrate slowly up or else you will get lose stools.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 08, 2011
at 06:51 PM

Natural calm is good in general cuz most of us don't get mag from our food. The chocolate craving is just cuz chocolate is really good. You've been eating it your whole life and like it. Don't overthink it. If you wanna lose the drive to eat it, stop eating it. Don't buy it. start with promising yourself one month, two months etc of not eating any. Then extend it. You will be able to but you simply have to decide to do it.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 08, 2011
at 06:51 PM

Working around chocolate all day is probably a major factor in the cravings.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on August 08, 2011
at 06:36 PM

Couldn't agree more, David. Chocolate should be considered not an acceptable food source for magnesium, but rather a "lesser evil" amongst "treats".

A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on August 08, 2011
at 06:31 PM

There shouldn't be much sugar in 90-99% cacao.. My bars have around 3g of sugar in half a bar. (I also thought it might be the sugar) Could be the caffine that makes it addictive? Or maybe cacao alone is mildy addictive.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on August 08, 2011
at 06:30 PM

Some good reasons would be that chocolate contains various other unhealthy things and that the tannin and phytic acid may reduce the amount of magnesium you can absorb. If you have adrenal fatigue the last thing you want is chocolate. Actually, the first thing you want is chocolate, but the last thing you need is chocolate.

8634d4988ced45a68e2a79e69cc01835

(1617)

on August 08, 2011
at 06:21 PM

I take 600mgs of magnesium citrate daily and still crave chocolate sometimes. It could be magnesium, but it could more likely just be an addiction to the sugar spike chocolate provides.

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7 Answers

6
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 08, 2011
at 06:07 PM

A magnesium insufficiency is a lot less paleo than taking natural calm.

Yes I do think it will help things, generally magnesium works to relax the nerves and inhibit various neurotransmissions that can lead to cravings. Calcium is always needed, just make sure you are getting enough from somewhere. Too little calcium and satiety signaling is sluggish. You can get enough calcium from a paleo diet but often people don't.

Try to associate chocolate with something bad in your mind, I suppose your fatigue is bad enough.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on August 08, 2011
at 07:07 PM

Yeah, and be close to a toilet! I never did get loose stools but it made me feel kind of weird. I switched to malate. If you don't like citrate try malate or glycinate, people do report some problems with citrate for whatever reason. Especially with weird dreams. I actually liked the dreams but the little bit of a groggy feeling wasn't pleasant.

B22e5946e28a1845a6006737e59edfc6

(2437)

on August 08, 2011
at 06:56 PM

+1, Natural Calm is the shiz! @Love, just make sure you start at the lowest dose and titrate slowly up or else you will get lose stools.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on August 09, 2011
at 01:32 AM

It's not uncommon to have loose stools at any dose of citrate. Unfortunately, I couldn't tolerate it at all. Not even 100 mg. I also can't tolerate mg glycinate. Or regular mg malate. I pretty much hate that I can only tolerate an expensive time released form of mg malate (Jigsaw Magnesium) but at the same time I'm very grateful it's there. Just wish someone else would start mfg'ing it so the price would (could, may, might) drop.

3
A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on August 08, 2011
at 06:22 PM

I also eat a lot of chocolate and have found myself making excuses to go to the store because I'm out of it. (Honey, you are out of bananas!! No no.. I will go get you some, I love you that much) Here is my question on the same topic for more info.

Here is a thought.. maybe there is nothing wrong with getting your magnesium from chocolate?? What is a more or less natural food source? Wonderful, yummy, satisfying chocolate? Or Natural Calm pills??.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on August 08, 2011
at 06:36 PM

Couldn't agree more, David. Chocolate should be considered not an acceptable food source for magnesium, but rather a "lesser evil" amongst "treats".

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on August 08, 2011
at 06:30 PM

Some good reasons would be that chocolate contains various other unhealthy things and that the tannin and phytic acid may reduce the amount of magnesium you can absorb. If you have adrenal fatigue the last thing you want is chocolate. Actually, the first thing you want is chocolate, but the last thing you need is chocolate.

A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on August 08, 2011
at 08:24 PM

PPFfftt.. phytic acid in chocolate.. damn you and your book learnin..

967229edcc94a66580110324524feb49

(688)

on August 08, 2011
at 11:29 PM

+1 for the honey you are out of bananas...

600c123bacc43bf566c17b19253f5779

(170)

on August 13, 2011
at 08:56 PM

Uh-oh I think David Moss may have hit the nail on the head...

1
E3267155f6962f293583fc6a0b98793e

(1085)

on August 08, 2011
at 06:16 PM

I have been taking Natural Calm for several months, maybe 6 or 7. It does help with the chocolate craving but doesn't get completely rid of it for me.

0
43e6e312fcc6b2cd2238e7898ad50480

on December 07, 2013
at 01:40 PM

Have you tried just keeping a bag of unsweetened cocoa powder in the house? If you melt a little coconut oil or, better, cocoa butter and mix it together you've got 'chocolate' which is way healthier and more satiating than a shop-bought, sugary bar. If that doesn't satisfy the craving, it was probably the sugar you really wanted. If it does, great! You get your magnesium from a perfectly healthy food source and it feels like an indulgence. (And tastes much nicer than Natural Calm :))

0
Medium avatar

on December 06, 2013
at 11:50 PM

@CaveDad just so you know that particular magnesium isn't in a pill form, it is a powder, which I like because it doesn't need nor contain fillers and binders. I know that the magnesium itself is extracted directly from the ocean, so happens to be perfectly natural. Not that one can actually make unnatural magnesium, as magnesium is a mineral and actually a metal and can’t be synthesized like vitamins can.

On the other hand, chocolate requires cocoa beans get roasted, cracked and de-shelled and made into chocolate liquor. During the cooking process the healthful flavonoids typically degrade. Then sugars are added (the sugars can be artificial sweeteners like maltitol and sucralose or HFCS). Flavors are added, this can be natural vanilla, in higher quality chocolate, but many brands use the artificial version "vanillin" i.e. 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde. Then emulsifiers are blended in (most often the emulsifier is lecithin made from GMO soy, at least in US production).

Then you get milk chocolate which often uses pasteurized, powered milk, which in turn increases the saturated fat content and decreases the cocoa content further. Milk also has been shown to hinder the body’s ability to absorb and use the healthy flavonoid content such as epicatechin. Unless the manufacturer notes that they are using organic, unpasteurized milk, then it can additionally contain antibiotics and rBGH and even aspartame, which is currently allowed by the FDA in the processing of milk. Because of this dark chocolate is typically better for one and will generally have a higher cocoa content.

So chocolate as a whole isn't necessarily more natural than collected magnesium, I guess is my point.

That said there are superior brands of chocolate out there that have high quality products that I can agree have some health benefits and are a decent source of magnesium as @CaveDad says.

In their raw state, prior to processing, cocoa beans have a higher ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), meaning their anti-oxidant value, than even acai berries. They are quite minerally rich too, especially as far as Magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, selenium and manganese go.

Good brands will typically have at least a 70% cocoa content, will be low sugar, will be organic (meaning that 95% or above of the ingredients are organically derived, so even these can still can contain GMOs, thank you USDA).

The higher the actual cocoa content the more potential antioxidants and flavonoids such as procyanidins and epicatechin. The polyphenols and catechins found in cocoa have been shown to improve blood flow and blood pressure because they stimulate nitric oxide production in the arteries. Some studies have actually found improved cardiovascular health in those who consume a bit of decent chocolate regularly (who knows if any negative health issues were developing concurrently like blood sugar levels, which is the frailty of such specific studies)

The flavonols found in the cocoa bean can also protect against sun damage, increase skin density and hydration and even decrease oxidized LDL cholesterol. So I agree with @CaveDad there is nothing too sinful about consuming some good quality organic chocolate, with a high cocoa content and low sugar once in a while. But one has to be quite selective.

However, I do agree with what @David Moss says and he is certainly correct. That said, I will say that tannins do occur in so many of our natural foods and this content doesn't typically outweigh their benefits. So many fruits, drinks, berries, nuts, beans contain tannins such as apricots, dates, eggplant, grapes, kiwi, cherries, peaches, blueberries, cranberries, gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries, pecans, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, vinegar, alfalfa, herbal teas, apple cider, apple juice, cinnamon, coriander, vanilla, turmeric, thyme, oregano, clove, beans. Many of these foods are considered very healthy for the human body.

Likewise, phytic acid is contained in many healthful foods and while a large intake of phytic acid is not healthy (because it can bind with dietary minerals and render them unabsorbable) it is dramatically reduced in cocoa beans during the roasting process. Beef contains a decent amount of phytic acid as well because of a cows diet, however ruminants utilize phytic acid quite well.

Phytic acid is a weird creature and isn’t entirely bad either, it is utilized by plant tissue to store energy and the mineral phosphorous. It is also quite a powerful antioxidant and was found in one study to help with cancer by suppressing oxidative damage, however the FDA vigorously denies that this acid has any benefit in treating cancer.

Probably more ramblings than @love 1 wanted to hear, but there you go.

0
Medium avatar

on December 03, 2013
at 10:28 PM

I love chocolate myself (spoilt on European chocolate though) so I can fully appreciate chocolate cravings. I find it interesting the insatiable chocolate craving some women get, especially prior to and during their menses (or during pregnancy). What is interesting is that magnesium is lowest in the female body just prior to menses and during pregnancy. The other interesting fact is that actual cocoa is a very rich source of magnesium, although the lesser brands typically use tons of sugar and corn syrup in place of ample amounts of cocoa.

Magnesium is also known to researchers as enhancing insulin secretion and thus facilitating sugar metabolism. In fact without magnesium, insulin is not able to transfer glucose into cells. So people with low magnesium levels can potentially accumulate glucose and insulin build up in the blood, this causing various types of tissue damage associated with diabetes.

So could this craving be an indication of the body’s desire for magnesium? Could the lack of magnesium that is hindering glucoses ability to enter a cell and be turned into energy by the body, be the cause behind why the body craves more glucose? Some say so and I think it is entirely feasable based on the facts I list above. Especially as some people find a reduced craving for chocolate once they start restoring healthy levels of magnesium.

0
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 08, 2011
at 10:49 PM

I take 400-600 mg of Magnesium Citrate daily & it has never helped reduce my desire for chocolate!

I use EFT for food cravings and it works really well--since so many cravings are emotionally connected.

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