For many people around the globe, chocolate is considered to be the number one rescuer at times of stress. For them, the stress accumulated after a hectic day soon disolves as that magical piece of chocolate melts in between their lips and cuddles their palate. Is there any science behind this or is it pure psychology? Read along to find out!
Dear stressed people,
Yes, chocolate as a de-stressor is backed up by scientific evidence!
Believe it or not, there is some scientific evidence that proves chocolate can improve your mood and melt the stress away! Chocolate stimulates the release of natural hormones, known as endorphins, which are produced by the brain. These endorphins turn your pleasant mood ON, at least until the next stressful situation. Who’s also to thank? The credit also goes to an amino acid called tryptophan which helps the brain produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that alleviates feelings of happiness.
Other stress-abolishing ingredients include polyphenols, concentrated in dark chocolate, which interact with brain receptors to decrease anxiety. Definitely, this is not to belittle the efforts of magnesium, a mineral found mostly in dark chocolate, which causes muscles to relax and therefore decreases tension resulting from anxiety.
Dear worried dieters,
Yes, you can de-stress while still keeping calories in check!
Although chocolate is proven to help calm your nerves and reduce anxiety caused by emotional distress, studies show that you may need a huge amount of it to cause all the physiological changes that would eventually result in melting your stress away. Yet, because the effect of it as a de-stressor is worthy, many of us would feel free to simply dig into that jar of chocolate spread, devour that supersized bar of chocolate, or blindly drizzle on some chocolate syrup.
However, beware of calories that will silently build up around your waistline and hips as you attempt to uplift your mood! Balance is key! 30g of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa is the right amount to have a win-win situation: calm the stress and keep the calories in check, as this amount provides around 170 calories! Still feeling guilty about those calories? It would take you 50 minutes of serious walking to ask for forgiveness!