The Magic of Chocolate

By Miranda Glenn

Guess what, guys? Eating chocolate is good for you! Now, this having come from a certifiable chocoholic, you all might be thinking, “Yeah, well, she’s biased.” But I’m actually not…at least, not regarding this basic fact of life.

chocolate-thinkstock

For one thing, consuming chocolate makes you happy as a result of various chemicals found within it. One such chemical is tryptophan, an amino acid found in small quantities in chocolate that is used by the brain to make serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can produce feelings of happiness. Another important chemical is phenylethylalanine, which produces feelings of nervousness, attraction, and excitement and is associated with the initial feeling of euphoria experienced when someone falls in love. It also acts as an antidepressant by combining with dopamine found naturally in the brain. The last notable chemical found in chocolate is theobromine, a weak stimulant that works with caffeine to cause the “high” you experience after consuming chocolate. In fact, scientists at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego theorize that chocolate may contain substances similar in effect to cannabis, only a lot weaker. You would have to consume more than 25 lbs of chocolate to get the same experience.

If all that data wasn’t enough, chocolate is also healthy for you, believe it or not. At least, dark chocolate is. But then again, that’s the best kind of chocolate anyways.

The high amount of cocoa found in dark chocolate provides large amounts of antioxidants called flavonoids, which counteract high blood pressure, prevent cancers, improve heart health, and protect blood vessels.

So, to conclude, everyone should eat a lot more chocolate. This absolutely amazing creation makes you happy when you eat it and, if you stick to the dark stuff, you’re actually benefiting your health with its consumption.  

 

Sources: Science Focus: The Online Home of BBC Focus Magazine

 

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