There are hundreds of natural compounds in chocolate, and they affect our brains, as they exude neurotransmitters. These can affect our feelings and make us feel happy. The raw, unprocessed beans from the cacao tree are one of a variety of so-called’superfoods’, so that they belong in the same class as the humble broccoli florets that lots of children hate.
Cacao beans contain potent antioxidants than may be found in green tea or red wine. Antioxidants are, quite simply, compounds, either artificial, or in this case, natural, which work to prevent, or delay oxidization and so they help fight the aging process and free radicals in the body, which may cause cancer.
Researchers believe that the antioxidants found in cacao beans can help to lower the risks of a stroke, lower blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease, in addition to preventing, or at least delaying prostate cancer.
Dark chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate is better for our health because it contains more of the cocoa bean than white chocolate. Researchers feel that the flavanols present in dark chocolate excite the endothelium (the arteries lining), thus producing nitric oxide (NO3). This, in turn, transmits messages to the arteries, instructing them to relax, so reducing blood pressure.
A hundred g bar of chocolate containing 70-85percent of cocoa has various minerals in it, including selenium which is a proven mood enhancer. It has 98% of the recommended daily dose of manganese, 67% of the recommended dose of iron, 58% of the recommended dose of magnesium, 89% of the recommended dose of copper and a huge 98 percent of manganese. In other words, dark chocolate is good for us!
Caffeine and theobromine are also to be found in dark chocolate, but the small amounts of these stimulants are extremely unlikely to keep you awake at night!
What’s the link between chocolate and happiness? Well, if you have never experienced the pleasurable feeling you get when you eat chocolate, then maybe you should try eating a small amount of dark chocolate. The smooth texture and delightful taste, coupled with the sensation of well-being you get will probably make you a comprehensive chocolate fan!
To make you feel better when you are depressed, there is nothing better than chocolate!