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It is rightly said “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then does not hurt”. This delectable treat is loved and cherished all over the world and rules modern pattiseries not only as a garnish but also as a star ingredient in various recipes. If you too are guilty of chocolate fetish you must be glad to know that the euphoric effects of this dessert on your mood have been scientifically proven to be true.

Yes, chocolate, which is often criticized for its high sugar and fat content actually contains a lot of compounds that act on your brain and help lighten up your mood. Curious to know more? Read on:

What your chocolate actually does?

Dark chocolate is full of nutrients that have a positive effect on our health. For instance cocoa, the main component of chocolate contains flavonoids like flavonols. These natural compounds have been found to have antioxidant activity that reduces oxidative stress and improves brain function.

Additionally, it improves blood flow to the brain, making it easier to transport nutrients and minerals to your central nervous system.

Chocolate also contains caffeine, a stimulant drug which improves mental processing by increasing excitability of brain cells. It basically acts on neurotransmitters like dopamine, the pleasure hormone of body, uplifting mood and mental processing.

But wait there’s more!.

Chocolate contains tryptophan which is an amino acid responsible for stimulating the release of serotonin (another mood lifting hormone) in brain. Tryptophan deficiency has been suggested to be one of the most common reasons for depression and anxiety. So the next time you feel worried or sad about something try chewing on a piece of chocolate

Which type of chocolate should you choose?

Going through all the above observations, it is quite obvious that dark chocolate is the best for your brain and health. It contains ample amounts of nutrients like flavanols, tryptophan and is low in sugar content and calories. On the contrary, milk and white chocolates contain much lesser amounts of cocoa and are high in sugar, causing weight gain and obesity. So, the darker the chocolate, the healthier it is.

Side effects of eating too much chocolate

Though it has a lot of health benefits, excess consumption of chocolate may do your more harm than good. For starters, it has been suggested that people might get addicted to its euphoric effects. But don’t worry there are no reported cases to prove this.  So there is a chance this might just be a hypothesis.

Although caffeine enhances our mood, it has a lot of side effects. If taken in higher amounts, it can lead to anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia. Excess caffeine also causes fatigue, digestive failure, increased heart rate and high blood pressure.

Similarly, increased dopamine levels can lead to constipation, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache and in severe cases, heart failure.

In the end, chocolate is a healthy option to enhance and refresh your mood. It also has a lot of health benefits apart from just improving our brain function. But as it is said, “excess of everything is bad”. So, it’s best to consume it only in moderate amounts.

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