There is scientific evidence showing that chocolate has the feel-good factor, as many of us already know! This is due to it’s mood elevating ingredients, like caffeine, theobromine, tyrosine and tryptophan, complimenting its delicious yet moreish taste.
This is why it’s so important to hold chocolate consumption as part of a well balanced and healthy diet, as it can also contribute to obesity and other health problems when eaten in excess. Dark chocolate boasts the highest cocoa solid content, offering more health benefits than milk chocolate with lower fat content and also contains antioxidants. So what other benefits can it offer?
Aspects of chocolate stimulate the feel-good areas of the brain – including the taste, smell and texture we all know and love. Interestingly, chocolate also contains tryptophan, which is an amino acid that helps activate the production of serotonin (the brain’s natural anti-depressant). Some experts have said that it can produce similar feelings to when we fall in love.
When eaten in moderation, chocolate can actually lower blood pressure, thin the blood (reducing stroke risks) and also act as an anti-inflammatory. This is due to the chocolates flavonoids, which widen and relax blood vessels, in turn helping to lower blood pressure in some instances.
Calms a cough
This is an unusual fact which many people may not know! Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which has been researched to suppress coughing by responding to the vagus nerve. This is where messages are carried from the central nervous system to the brain.
Benefits for your brain
Epicatechin which is found in cocoa and green tea can help protect the brain against the formation of stick proteins or amyloid plaques, which usually develop in such diseases as Alzheimer’s.