If you feel like you're craving dark chocolate and find that it lifts your mood, you're not imaging it. British researchers have demonstrated that chocolate contains mind-altering chemicals that can actually stimulate your central nervous system and "make you feel young and in love."
What Are the Mood-Boosters in Dark Chocolate?
One of the health benefits of dark chocolate is the mood-boosting biochemical called phenylethylamine. Phenylethylamine also contributes to that somewhat euphoric feeling that we equate with succumbing to the throes of love.
It’s known that anti-aging drugs like Eldepryl—which raises the neurotransmitter levodopa and is used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease—increase phenylethylamine. Now it's proposed that dark chocolate might operate in just the same way. Just think! Dark chocolate is good for your heart and body.
The body often craves what it's deficient in, so if you're craving dark chocolate, it might be that you're looking to boost low levels of brain chemicals like phenylethylamine, or even dopamine and serotonin, as well as a sense of generalized well-being.
So, for those of us in Northern latitudes pushing to get through the winter “hump month” of February, maybe getting a little dark chocolate in our diets will be a two-fold Valentine’s Day treat: We can express our love, and also enjoy the health benefits of dark chocolate by boosting our winter blues.
Just remember, it’s dark chocolate that offers all the healthy heart nutrition perks, not milk chocolate or white chocolate. Plus, as with everything food-related, I recommend organic dark chocolate.
Now it's your turn: Do you find that you crave dark chocolate?
You May Also Be Interested In
- Mounting Evidence Shows that Chocolate Helps to Prevent Strokes
- 3 Foods with Surprising Heart Benefits