I need chocolate. I admit it. I may be an addict. So, in an attempt to justify my obsession with dark chocolate, I did some reading on medical websites.
Gratefully, I discovered that the over 300 chemicals that compose chocolate have numerous and varied effects on our bodies through the nervous system.
So, here’s my attempt at summarizing what I learned:
Chocolate can affect the brain by causing the release of certain neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the molecules that send out signals between neurons. The amounts of particular neurotransmitters we have at any given time can have a great impact on our mood. Endorphins are one such neurotransmitter.
Eating chocolate increases the levels of endorphins released into your brain.
In other words, Endorphins are happy neurotransmitters! They help to reduce stress and lead to feelings of euphoria.
Another happy and helpful neurotransmitter is dopamine.
Dopamine can help boost your mood, as well as aid in memory and learning. Eating dark chocolate can stimulate dopamine production in your brain; its effects are short lived though due to the rapid destruction of the dopamine-boosting chemical in chocolate.
But, hey if you take a bite and get a buzz, even if it’s a short buzz, it’s worth it!
Now, I know, I know; chocolate may help your brains but it’ll reek havoc on your hips, so I moderate…
Okay, truth be told… I try to moderate! But if I feel guilty for over eating chocolate because I’m stressed, then I can just eat some more to make me happy and boost my mood (do you like my way of thinking?) It’s all good!
So, to wrap up why your brain likes chocolate, here are 5 good reasons:
1. It makes you happy
2. It reduces stress
3. It helps your memory
4. It boosts your mood
5. It helps you learn
Wanna know some of my favorite chocolate recipes? Here is a link to two of my faves.
Question: What is your favorite “brain food,” aka “chocolate?” Leave a comment here.