Even thinking about that sensation of warm melting cream at the back of the throat makes you feel better. Indeed, the association of chocolate with good mood and romance is well documented. Chocolate is as sophisticated as wine in the way it is designed to ignite our senses and give us pleasure.
But what happens when chocolate ingredients enter the blood stream? What induces feelings of pleasure? The stimulant activity of cocoa comes from theobromine, a caffeine-like molecule that causes a spike in dopamine. There is a decent amount of caffeine in dark chocolate, and as we all know, caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, the world’s most widely consumed legal psychoactive drug. Chocolate also contains tiny doses of cannabinoids, which are responsible for the ups experienced from smoking dope, but certainly not enough to make you high.
Chocolate is an excellent source of B and E vitamins and the dietary minerals: calcium, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc. Regarding sex, vitamin E plays an important role in the production of sex hormones. Several studies have shown that vitamin E can aid low libido in women. Zinc enables the male body to produce testosterone and because of this may affect erectile dysfunction.
The ability of chocolate to make you up has been widely known in Mesoamerica in pre-Columbian time. A Spanish soldier who was part of the conquest of Mexico by Hernán Cortés tells that when Moctezuma II, emperor of the Aztecs, dined, he took no other beverage than chocolate, served in a golden goblet. Flavored with vanilla or other spices, his chocolate was whipped into a froth that dissolved in the mouth. No fewer than 60 portions each day reportedly may have been consumed by Moctezuma II in order to satisfy his many wives, and 2,000 more by the nobles of his court.
Besides, chocolate has been shown to improve depression and anxiety symptoms and help enhance feelings of calmness and contentedness.
The chocolate content has been extensively studied and is thought to be responsible for most of chocolate’s therapeutic effects via their multiple effects in the body, including:
- Prevention of blood clots
- Blood vessel dilation
- Protection of nerve cells
- Reduction of insulin resistance
- Increased blood flow to the brain
- Regulation of genes that control body weight
- Inhibition of cancer growth
So, it’s a solid scientific basis why chocolate can boost your mood and improve your health. Always choose dark chocolate, since it contains more actual chocolate and less sugar and other fillers that don’t affect your endorphins.