Take a piece of chocolate, put that in your mouth, close your eyes and enjoy the inexpressible moment. That’s it. It is this easy to have a joyful mood. It is just like the feeling of getting compliments from your crush. But why does chocolate make us happy and reduce our stress most of the time? Let’s find out.
Chocolates contain a specific and main constituent called cacao which is recognized to have a mood-enhancing effect. The human body has the happiness hormone named serotonin which is produced using another hormone that is tryptophan. Serotonin also calms us and helps in sleep. Here the sugar of chocolate plays a very important role. As the human body tends to release insulin in response to sugar, the released insulin enhances the journey of tryptophan to the brain where it triggers serotonin for happiness.
Whenever we feel love for someone, phenylethylamine is the organic compound released in the body. It also acts as a stimulant of the central nervous system and also has antidepressant properties. Cacao, the main ingredient of chocolate in addition to triggering caffeine and caffeine-like theobromine, which also contains this phenylethylamine. When the chocolate melts in the mouth it gives us a pleasant feeling. That feeling reaches our brain and causes endorphins to be released. Endorphins are the natural painkilling substances that generate positive feelings just like when we have a good laugh, achieve something, thus similarly eating chocolate.
Benefits of Eating Chocolate
Eating chocolates specifically dark lowers the level of stress hormones. Researchers found that eating almost 40gm of chocolate every day for two weeks continuously reduces levels of cortisol and catecholamines (stress hormones). Cocoa also contains antioxidants called flavonoids which have several health benefits like improving insulin sensitivity, reducing blood pressure, and enhancing mood. In such ways, chocolate makes us happy and reduces stress.
So with every bite of chocolate you’re gonna take, these hormones, chemicals will always be ready to give you immense pleasure.
The extent of these chemicals and specific ingredients in chocolate is small and thus it’s not clear whether they have a direct impact on a person’s mood. Scientists say that probably sometimes released hormones and chemicals are digested before they reach our brain. But chocolate makes us happy and the pleasure we get from eating it is largely connected to psychological factors. Individual memories sometimes get connected with eating chocolate of a specific type. These memories are positive and memories can be of eating chocolate at festivals, eating with loved ones, etc. And when we get a similar taste of such chocolate, immense happiness emerges, making that moment different.
Chocolate makes us happy and helps in releasing stress with its special ingredients, chemicals, or reasons that can be psychological. The importance is that it gives us happiness. So whenever you feel tense, stressed, eat chocolate and have a fresh and calm beginning.