Yes, you read that correctly. There are health benefits to that yummy snack.
The Spread of Chocolate
The tropical climate of Mesoamerican provided the perfect climate for the Theobroma cacao tree seeds to grow. Thanks to European explorers discovering Mesoamerica and therefore cacao, everyone across the globe now can enjoy its unique taste. Add sugar and you have an irresistible combination and what we most commonly consider “chocolate” as in the snack, or let’s be honest – candy
I wouldn’t characterize myself as a chocolate lover like many of my friends but even I get the hankering for a piece chocolate cake, a piece of locally made chocolate or even chocolate ice cream. And I’m a vanilla girl but sometimes I just want chocolate, why?
When you mix cacao powder with sugar and milk you create an irresistible combination that releases your happy hormones and relieves stress. People generally like it on the simple basis that it tastes good, smells good and people like the sensation of it melting in your mouth according to a Psychology Today article.
“The experience of eating chocolate is what makes you happy. Eating chocolate actually releases dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter, into particular regions of the brain: the frontal lobe, hippocampus and hypothalamus.” This excerpt is from a Business Insider article, chocolate really does transcend.
Chocolate Reduces Stress
The association of chocolate making us feel happy when we eat it and the actual release of dopamine makes it a perfect stress reliever, both by association and actual neurotransmitter release. I have found myself reaching for a piece of locally made Taza Chocolate from time to time, especially when I am feeling anxious or stressed.
PMS and Chocolate
It is very common for woman to reach for something chocolatey during that time and science is behind this too. Chocolate is known to contain some magnesium. Magnesium is an essential mineral that has lots of functions in our bodies. One of it’s many function is for muscle and nerve function. Magnesium has been shown to help with muscle cramping, particularly with the smooth muscles of the uterus. So thank you chocolate, you really do make like better!
While chocolate is scientifically proven to release neurotransmitters that make you happy and alleviate stress, it should be consumed in moderate amounts.
Depending on the type, like candy bars and ice cream, you’re also packing in the carbohydrates. So along with your dopamine-releasing compound that makes you feel good, science has also shown us that chocolate can be associated with acne, obesity, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and diabetes. So don’t go overboard, a little goes a long way. The benefits are most certainly felt faster than than the risks. You’ll feel better after a candy bar before you notice a pimple in the following days.
Enjoy a Little Stress Relief
Go ahead, have a little chocolate here and there, especially if you crave it. Your body is not wrong, just do so in a safe amount, don’t overindulge but do enjoy.