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How Much Can Dark Chocolate Improve Your Mood?

For centuries, people have recognized the intrinsic value of chocolate. In Mesoamerica, fermented chocolate drinks have been traced back as far as 450 BC. Seeds from the cacao tree were so valuable among early civilizations that they were used as currency. And in much more modern times, scientists have determined that chocolate has mood-enhancing components, similar to those found in cannabis, and that a substance in chocolate called phenylethylamine helps regulate mood. Other health benefits attributed to chocolate include reducing the risk of heart disease, improving memory, relieving stress, and improving vision. Most recently, in 2019, University College London researchers studying dark chocolate found that its high concentration of antioxidants called flavonoids may actually relieve depressive symptoms.

Chocolate? Yes, please:

  • Dark chocolate has a higher concentration of cocoa than milk chocolate, and it doesn’t contain any added milk solids. Dark chocolate tastes more bitter, but has a more intense chocolate flavor.

  • Among its many purported benefits, eating dark chocolate can suppress appetite and help guard against overeating.

  • The researchers involved in the UCL study were clear to point out that more research is needed to determine whether there is actually a causal relationship between eating dark chocolate and relieving the symptoms of depression.

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More Info: University College London

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