There’s nothing quite like the high of love. Blissful, comforting, and satisfying, love makes us feel good. But did you know that chocolate can yield us some of the same effects?
I’m sure this comes as no surprise for all you chocolate lovers out there. Why else does it lure you in for repeated encounters? But for all of you who haven’t received the memo yet, or in case you need to ditch the feeling of guilty pleasure, here’s the scoop: Yes, chocolate makes you feel good, and it’s good for your body. too.
Here’s the skinny on chocolate. It’s full of many happy hormone promoting elixirs. Meaning, there’s a reason we crave this stuff, especially at certain times of the month (I know some of you ladies know what I mean). It’s nothing short of a miracle on those days of much needed salvation, because it’s literally coming to the rescue.
The dreamy dark stuff triggers a chemical reaction throughout our endocrine system (hormonal system) to release neurotransmitters (think hormones in your brain) that include the feel good endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. These little mood enhancers can create feelings of pleasure and euphoria while calming our anxieties, decreasing stress, and reducing pain. Who doesn’t want that?
To make it even better, chocolate is loaded with antioxidants in the form of polyphenols and flavonoids. These are nature’s natural inflammation inhibitors that help to reduce cell damage throughout the body.
But hold the applause until after you hear the nitty gritty. It needs to stay in the dark. Sorry milk chocolate lovers, but milk with your chocolate or even milk chocolate, you will negate the absorption of the polyphenols (the ones good for your body). However, your mood will still be enhanced if it’s milk. Not a homerun, but not bad either.
Disclaimer time. Before you go out and gorge on all you can eat chocolate, remember that too much of a good thing is exactly that (you know it’s true). A little can go a long way. Sugar usually comes along for the ride and unfortunately that’s a party crasher, so find the balance (there is one). It’s a good idea to nibble a bit before or indulge a bit more after a good meal to keep your blood sugar levels from spiking (think slow and steady energy). So go ahead and enjoy your love for chocolate. Everything in moderation, right?