Do you crave a candy bar when stressed?
The Candy That Calms
Do you ever crave a candy bar when you’re stressed? It could be for a good reason: Dark chocolate may calm you down says a new study from the Swinburne University of Technology.
In a recent experiment, people consumed a chocolate drink mixed with either 500, 250, or zero milligrams of cocoa polyphenols once a day for 30 days. At the end of the study, those who drank the highest dose said they felt more calm and complacent, while the lower-dose drinkers reported no changes in mood.
The reason: Polyphenols found naturally in dark chocolate respond to brain receptors with anxiety. Those same receptors are also targeted with the common anxiety medication benzodiazepines, which may function through a similar biological system as polyphenols, the study authors say.
How can you get the same effect? Here’s a rule of thumb: Look for dark bars with the highest percentage of cocoa you can find. “The higher the cocoa content of the chocolate, the more polyphenols the chocolate will contain,” says study author Mathew Pase, a Ph.D. candidate at Swinburne.
SIDE NOTE: The higher the cocoa concentration the more bitter the chocolate. So if you are use to milk chocolate build up a tolerance because the sugar levels are very different. And, like most things in life balance is the key, not gluttony.!