Chocolate, actual chocolate, is good for you! It turns out that it’s all the other stuff that can be found in an average bar of milk chocolate that is bad for you, like added fats and of course sugar. On the other hand, eating some dark chocolate (like the chocolate in the photograph above) everyday can put you well on your way to immortal happiness.
Don’t believe me? Read this article.
Okay, I realize that it doesn’t really say that chocolate makes you immortal. But chocolate does seem to help you live longer. Apparently, studies show that dark chocolate is rich in anti-oxidants and that it helps prevent heart disease and high blood pressure. According to one medical researcher quoted in the article, “the chronic consumption of cocoa may be associated with improved cardiovascular health”. This has to be one of best sentences I have ever read!
The article also talks about chocolate’s mood-enhancing impacts. Apparently, and this is probably something that most of you have heard about at some point, chocolate also contains phenethylamine, which “triggers the release of pleasurable endorphins and potentates the action of dopamine, a neuro-chemical associated with sexual arousal and pleasure.”
A lesser known chemical in chocolate is ‘anandamide’ which binds to the same receptor site in the brain as the psychoactive constituent of marijuana. Anandamide produces feelings of elation and exhilaration. The article asks: “If this becomes more widely known, will they make chocolate illegal?”. This is inarguably the WORST most frightening sentence/question ever to be published in the history of human publication.
Also, chocolate increases the levels of serotonin in your brain.
I found this article through a friend (thanks Minni, if you’re reading this) and got so excited that I wanted to scream out loud in my office, or run around hugging people in the library (my office is in the library). You see, I have always maintained that chocolate is the Answer. “To what?” you ask?. “To Everything” I answer. For instance, handing out delicious chocolate bars to angry dictators will bring about world peace. This is a Fact. While mad dictators will probably need a truckload of chocolate instead of a bar or two, I don’t see why this wouldn’t work, in principle.
My point is, I always knew chocolate was the panacea, but now I have scientific backing 🙂
In other news, “anandamide’, derived from the Sanskrit word ‘ananda’, is my new favourite chemical. I mean isn’t that the cutest name ever?