This Is Your Brain On Chocolate
It seems like every month a new groundbreaking study comes out claiming that something that was once good for you is now bad. Whether it’s eggs, red wine, cheese or coffee, it never seems like the story is totally straight. Even our beloved chocolate gets this kind of whiplash treatment.
While every story and study needs to be taken with a grain of salt, the positive sides of eating chocolate seem to outweigh the negatives. (Especially when the chocolate is made with high quality ingredients and traditional recipes.)
Let’s take a closer look at the positive things eating chocolate does to your brain and body.
Chocolate Increases Serotonin In Your Brain
Many people turn to chocolate when they are feeling blue, but have you ever wondered why? It’s more than just a habit or a comforting behavior, there are actually physiological reactions taking place. Chocolate increases levels of serotonin in your brain, and this has a calming effect on a person.
Chocolate also stimulates your brain cells to release dopamine. And dopamine, in proper measures, makes you feel good. (Side note: white chocolate is more effective in helping your brain release dopamine than milk or dark chocolate.)
The brain is an amazing organ. Even when you think about eating chocolate, dopamine is produced. So the next time you’re feeling down but don’t have any chocolate on hand, just picture yourself slowly savoring a few squares of your favorite kind of chocolate and you will likely feel your mood lighten.
Increase Your Cognitive Performance By Eating Chocolate
Another long-term study conducted in New York has found that people with diets that include chocolate have “significant positive associations” in cognitive performance. In other words people’s brains tend to work better if they consume chocolate at least once a week.
What, specifically, is “better” brain functioning, you ask? Basically the study found that any complex task you ask your brain to do is improved with chocolate in your life. Researchers found superior functioning in: visual-spatial memory and [organization], working memory, scanning and tracking, abstract reasoning, and the mini-mental state examination.
It needs mentioning that the causal links are not crystal clear at this time. This means that researchers are not sure exactly how chocolate and greater brain functioning are linked. Another question is whether smarter people naturally eat more chocolate or if chocolate makes you smarter (a chicken and the egg type scenario). But what we can conclude is that chocolate is simply amazing.
As mentioned, however, everything should be taken with a grain of salt. When it comes to consumption of chocolate (or anything), self-control and taking the time to enjoy each bite is key!
What is clear is that chocolate, especially superior chocolate with incredible ingredients like we make at Totally Chocolate can lead to some pretty wonderful things. A few nibbles a day can induce bliss and help your brain function in complex situations. While we aren’t saying eating chocolate is going to make you a genius overnight, we think it’s a pretty genius habit to enjoy this delectable treat now and again.