It’s not just a placebo effect. There are actual scientific reasons why dark chocolate takes you to your happy place. Below, our favorite five.
Heard of “runner's high?” It’s that feel-good state long distance runners can experience, and it’s due to the release of chemicals called endorphins into the brain. The endorphins bind with opiate receptors to create a kind of euphoria. Guess what food actually boosts the production of endorphins?1 You got it. Dark chocolate.
Yep, that’s right, the same essential amino acid that gets lots of pub around Thanksgiving time because it’s found in turkey is also found in dark chocolate. Tryptophan is needed for the body to make serotonin, and serotonin is the neurotransmitter of happiness and positive mood.2 So, when you give your body a little shot of tryptophan, you give yourself a little shot of happiness.
Bliss molecule? Sign us up! Turns out, chocolate is the main food source for a naturally occurring compound called anandamide.3 Anandamide gets its groovy nickname because, as a neurotransmitter, it’s quite similar to the psychoactive component THC. Need we say more?
Why is dark chocolate such a popular Valentine’s Day gift? Could be because it contains phenylethylamine (don’t worry, there won’t be a spelling test), a compound also known as “the love drug” that gives you that brain-fuzzy, “I’m in love” kind of feeling.4 As an added bonus, chocolate also has a little something called theobromine, a caffeine-related compound thought to make chocolate a mild aphrodisiac. Bow-chick-a-bow-wow!
Here’s the story. Magnesium is an essential mineral that reduces stress because it suppresses the release of cortisol, a stress hormone. Typically, there’s not a lot of magnesium in our diets, but our hero, dark chocolate, contains lots of it.5 In fact, it’s speculated that the reason we crave chocolate is because our bodies are craving magnesium. So, the next time somebody tells you to “take a chill pill,” reach for a piece of dark chocolate. Relaxation is just a delicious bite away!
Love dark chocolate? Then you’ll love NibMor--rich, sumptuous, creamy dark chocolate that’s made from just handful of simple, wholesome ingredients. Certified USDA Organic and non-GMO, NibMor comes in a variety of delicious flavors you just have to try. So get started now!