Cramps and chocolate are a match made in heaven, according to the many pop culture references portraying the dessert as a remedy for painful cramps during menstruation.

But is it just a placebo effect? Have we been inundated with the idea that chocolate improves our periods or is there science behind this treat easing the ache? We talked to the experts to find out.

Dark chocolate or bust

The benefits of eating chocolate come from cacao, the seed from which chocolate is made.

Cramps, or dysmenorrhea, happen when the uterine wall contracts, which can cause pain. The darker the chocolate, the higher the concentration of cacao, which provides the beneficial ingredients that lend themselves to cramp relief.

"It's important to look at the percentage of cacao and the quality of the chocolate. Seventy percent and higher are the best quality because they're the least processed," said