It’s a universal truth that chocolate will improve your mood. Have you ever wondered why it makes you feel better, though? Why is it that this is the first snack food you want when you feel sad or upset? The answers all lie in the power of the delicious cocoa bean and the many different chemicals it contains.
A Look at Chocolate
There are over 300 naturally occurring chemicals in the cocoa bean – many of which help improve your mood. Phenylethylamine affects your brain’s release of neurotransmitters, which mimic happy feelings. It also increases your pulse rate, so you feel like you do when you’re in love.
Some of the other chemicals that affect you include:
- Anandamide is responsible for producing dopamine which is another feel-good chemical.
- Endorphins are released into your brain, improving your mood while also decreasing stress and pain levels.
Dark vs. Milk Chocolate
Not every cocoa bean will improve your mood. The difference between dark and milky candy bars is how much of the original cocoa remains in the final product, the ingredients’ quality, and what additives are used. However, you’ll find that a dark candy bar is better for you because it contains less sugar and more of the original cocoa (35-100%), which has a bitter taste. The lighter variety is diluted with sugar, milk solids, and cream, making it taste sweeter.
Why Dark Chocolate is Special
There are a few studies regarding cocoa and how it affects your health. In 2007 The Journal of American Medicine Association discovered that regular consumption of dark candy bars would significantly improve your blood pressure without weight loss. Other studies show that it’s a powerful antioxidant and will also improve your mood.
While this is great news, remember that too much of a good thing is bad. For instance, while you’ll experience an improved mood from eating a few candy bars, you’ll also get the same feeling from taking a jog or going to the gym.
What Will Make You Happier
When you eat a dark candy bar, endorphins are released from the chemicals that are in the cocoa and the sugar. These chemicals include serotonin, resveratrol (an antioxidant), and phenethylamine (known to have an antidepressant effect).
Two studies have discovered that acute cognitive effects occur when supplemented with cocoa polyphenols. This concept still needs to be explored. Researchers need to investigate how candy bars affect cognitive facilitation. They also need to understand how cocoa’s components change how the brain functions and why it can improve your mood. Some of this research started in 2008 with mapping the cocoa bean’s genes.
Some of the other benefits of eating dark candy bars include improved:
- Visual-spatial memory
- Working memory
- Abstract reasoning
These are all things that can be traced back throughout human history to the time of the Aztecs. As we do so, we see that dark candy bars are well-known for helping people feel less stressed and happier. While some may say that it’s because you’re eating something sweet, but regardless of what it is, it’s not going away as more and more people are eating candy bars today. This consumption has led to many researchers studying why this is happening.
What to do After You’ve Had Your Chocolate
Once you’ve had some chocolate to improve your mood, why not do something to improve your hearing too? You can start by making an appointment with us here at Countryside Hearing Aid Services in Pinellas County, FL, to have your hearing checked. Doing so will make everything around you much more pleasurable. So, make sure to contact them today.
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