We all know how special savouring a piece of chocolate can be – from the first look at its packaging, the moment you touch it to the reassuring snap it makes, releasing the amazing aromas and then finally as you take the first bite to the way it coats your taste buds in a rich, velvety layer of pure flavour filling your olfactory with some of the 1500 aromas it connecting you to the rain forest it was grown in. And then when that’s finished, 

Have you ever had the urge to eat more?

If so, there are lots of reasons why we crave chocolate, and why eating it makes us a feel a certain way. could it be the affect that chocolate has on the brain, the heart, or our overall emotional well-being or all of them that explains why we enjoy eating chocolate as much as we do. this led me to want learn more about the ” feel good” chemicals found in chocolate.

Chocolate and Endorphins

Neurotransmitters are molecules that transmit signals between neurons. The amounts of particular neurotransmitters we have at any given time can have an impact on our mood. neurotransmitters such as endorphins and other opiates help to reduce stress and can lead to feelings of euphoria.

We all accept that exercises release endorphins in the brain, which is why some people say they are addicted to the gym.

So where does chocolate come into this Researchers found that cocoa, causes the brain to release endorphins (” feel good” chemicals). But for maximum endorphin release, we need to favour dark chocolate over its creamier counterpart, milk chocolate.

 

Pure cocoa has a bitter taste, and the chocolate we usually buy is manufactured by balancing out the bitterness by mixing it with milk and sugar. The more milk and sugar we add, the less cocoa the chocolate contains.

To get the endorphins flowing, choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate. And remember, more cocoa = more endorphins. Of course, this is not to say that milk chocolate doesn’t also put a smile on our faces.

Endorphins are not the only brain chemicals linked to chocolate consumption. Together with dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin these four neurotransmitters form the quartet that is responsible for our happiness and they are all released when we eat chocolate.

Chocolate can also help boost your memory. studies have concluded that people who had higher flavanol intake show better signs of memory retention.

Studies have suggested that dark chocolate may protect against high blood pressure and diabetes, However this doesn’t mean we can eat as much as we like we can get too much of a good thing!. It just means that, like many of life’s pleasures, chocolate – consumed in moderation – could be good for us.

 

 

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