I can resist many things in life, but chocolate is not one of them. The sheer thought of indulging in a creamy, melting bar of chocolate makes my mouth water. Now scientists tell us why chocolate is such incredible food.
What is chocolate actually made of?
Chocolate is made of cacao beans that are fermented, dried and roasted. They the means are ground into a sort of chocolate liquor –it’s only the name, it doesn't contain any alcohol. Later, fat is extracted from that liquid to get cocoa butter and cocoa powder. To make chocolate you have to melt cocoa butter, powder and some sweetener and sometimes dairy is added.
What makes chocolate so good?
Phenylethylamine, aka “P.E.A,” is the chemical our brain releases when we are in love. During Victorian times chocolates were given to the person you were courting, makes sense, right? This chemical triggers the release of endorphins and increases the activity of dopamine and serotonin –making chocolate a powerful antidepressant.
This stimulant increases your heart hate and blocks adenosine receptors –similarly to coffee, they prevent you from feeling tired.
Magnesium induces relaxation, reduces anxiety and it also helps relieve cramps.
Chocolate contains a little bit of caffeine than when combined with theobromine, it makes you feel more energized.
Chocolate also contains anandamide that, surprisingly, is a cannabinoid. It is the only food that actually contains cannabinoids in a minimal proportion.
This chemical is a precursor to serotonin and when eaten with some carbs it can induce sleep and chocolate has carbs because of its sugar. Thus chocolate is also good when you need to sleep.
Polyphenols are antioxidants that are associated with improved mood.
Now you know why chocolate is so addictive for all of us! Next time you want to impress your date, shift your mood or induce sleep, have a chocolate bar!
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