Chocolate is the most popular flavour in everything from cakes to ice cream. Chocolates have always come to our aid when we have had period cramps or heartbreak. We are told to avoid chocolate because it is high in calories, but a small nibble of a bar, then and now, has never done anyone any harm.
Even a small bite of chocolate is enough to boost up our mental health, our worries tend to melt away while the chocolate melts into our mouth. Ever wondered why? Chocolates affect the functioning of our brain by releasing certain happy neurotransmitters that are responsible for sending happy signals and releasing feel good hormones. Here is what happens inside your brain, while you let that chocolate melt away into your mouth.
Phenylethylamine or the love drug
Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, or the love drug, which causes the release of dopamine. Dopamine, also known as the feel-good hormone, is responsible for all pleasurable sensations within our bodies. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which has been shown to have positive effects on the human brain. It is claimed that phenylethylamine raises our pulse rate, producing the same effect that people experience when they fall in love.
Endorphins give relief from pain and stress
This is another feel good hormone, which is released by our nervous system to give us relief from pain and stress. Consuming chocolates can lift up the endorphin level in our brain, making it a comfort food for the human brain. Dark chocolates trigger the stimulation of these hormones to the max as the cocoa present in dark chocolates maximizes endorphin release.
Theobromine lower blood pressure and keep your heart healthy
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system’s function. Theobromine, which is found in chocolate and cocoa, helps to lower blood pressure and keep your heart healthy. Dark chocolate contains more theobromine than white chocolate because cacao beans are high in it.
Anandamide produces a happy feeling
Anandamide is derived from the Sanskrit word for happiness, ‘Ananda.’ Anandamide is a THC-like compound found in marijuana. Anandamide and THC are both responsible for the body producing a high level of dopamine. Anandamide, which is found in chocolate, produces a happy feeling in your brain and improves your mood.
Serotonin boosts up our mental health
Dark chocolates with high cocoa content have serotonin in them. Having dark chocolates can increase the serotonin level in our system that boosts up our mental health. Serotonin makes a good anti-depressant and releases all the tension going on inside the body.
Consuming chocolates is thus good for your mental health, but before gorging on this sweet treat, remember moderation is the key. Getting a bite of chocolate every day will keep both our heart and brain happy and healthy.