Oct 05 , 2021
When you’re happy and you know it!!
Chocolate finds itself on top of the ‘Go To” foods especially when people find themselves feeling low. Chocolate invariably helps perk up your mood. They are the most popular treat globally (crossing gender and age barriers) and understandably so.
We find chocolate as a hot favorite, not just for the taste but for the elated feeling that we get after we have had our share of this magic formula.
Besides being able to boost memory, enhance problem solving skills, increase attention span and reaction time, chocolate has a certain happy factor that appeals to our palette and our brain alike.
Let us understand how this dark beauty helps us feel the way we do:
- Flavinoids in dark chocolate can stimulate lining of arteries to produce Nitric oxide. This sends signals to the brain to relax, reduce blood pressure and thereby stress and anxiety. Flavinoids are rich in anti oxidants (more than red wine). Anti oxidants are important in the prevention and clinical treatment of depression.
- Chocolate has shown to increase levels of Dopamine. This is a neurotransmitter essential for positive mood. Brain functioning can be improved by increasing blood flow and chocolate aids this effect. This could be the reason why one feels more alert after consuming chocolate.
- According to a 2010 study in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, consuming cocoa containing foods (chocolate included), in moderation has shown a direct co relation with anti inflammatory benefits. Studies are being conducted to show the link between lowered risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer with chocolate consumption.
- Endorphin release (pleasure creating chemicals in the brain) is directly linked with chocolate consumption. This similar effect is also seen after an exercise session. Chocolate also triggers release of Serotonin (natural anti depressant), responsible for creating a sense of calmness.
- Magnesium is an important mineral found in liberal amounts in chocolate. It is used in the treatment of anxiety, by obstructing the release of stress hormones (Cortisol). Magnesium has been known to improve mood, focus, memory and enhance sleep.
Proceed with caution!! Just because something is good for us, does not mean that we can binge on it indiscriminately. Too much of a good thing can have adverse side effects and jeopardize our mission of a healthy self.
While selecting the right type of chocolate, it is important to read the food labels. That will help us better understand the product and how much of it we need to consume to see positive results.