- A dimension of consuming cocoa and chocolate concerns mood. Cocoa is loaded with agents that augment the production of various feel-good chemicals in the brain, notably serotonin and dopamine. Meaning that cocoa possess antidepressant, mood-elevating properties. Cocoa is a Trojan horse, carrying into the body scores of natural compounds, some ordinary and some exotic, which work busily to modify mood in subtle yet undeniable ways.
- Theobromine, the second methylxanthine, occurs at a concentration of approximately 250mg in a 50g bar of dark chocolate. Similar to caffeine, theobromine is a central nervous system stimulant, however it is appreciably weaker. Except, theobromine is a stronger cardiac stimulant, and a more potent diuretic. The existence of both caffeine and theobromine undoubtedly contribute to the overall mood-modifying effect of this ambrosial food.
- The bitter, smooth flavor of dark chocolate by itself may not be enough to dash your worries and stress away, however, the mouth watering confection also causes the release of neurotransmitters, which talk directly to the brain. They tell the brain to do very good things, assisting in the flow of endorphins and serotonin. Endorphins can improve mood, lessen pain, and relieve stress. Serotonin is the “feel good” chemical for the brain, and plays a part in promoting feelings of happiness and wellbeing.
~ Taken from www.enjoydarkchocolate.com
Chocolate and Mood Disorders
Dark gold, pure happiness! Yes, Chocolate! Isn’t it remarkable that we can have something that is not only good for us, but fun to use? You have most likely heard the buzz regarding dark chocolate, and how it’s helpful for your blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, prevents cancer and can fix practically anything that is wrong with you, except that expanding waistline. Some of dark chocolate’s benefits come from resveratrol, an antioxidant (immune system booster) found in red wine, amongst other products. The mental health benefits consist of the ability to boost brain levels of endorphins (natural opiates) as well as serotonin (a mood altering chemical on which many antidepressants act).
~ Taken from www.psychcentral.com