THE MOOD-ENHANCING POWER OF DARK CHOCOLATE
The health benefits of consuming dark chocolate are becoming more well known; and the antioxidant makeup in chocolate is a great way to justify indulging in your sweet tooth (on occasion, of course). Furthermore, there is evidence that dark chocolate can also lower your blood pressure and help keep heart disease at bay. There’s more good news on the way now too, as a new report indicates that dark chocolate can also enhance your mood.
The report comes from NutraIngredients.com which found that “cocoa flavanols in dark chocolate may keep you calmer and content but no link has been established with enhanced cognitive performance.” The report found that “people consuming high cocoa flavanol dark chocolate reported more positive mood states.”
With regards to the study, “seventy-two healthy men and women aged 40-65 were asked to consume a 20 g dark chocolate drink mix with either 500 mg of cocoa flavanols, 250 mg or no cocoa flavanols for 30 day.” The participants didn’t know what drink they were consuming.
The report found that “the group consuming the most flavanols reported higher levels of calmness and contentedness than other groups after 30 days, but no changes in cognition were observed.” The researchers proclaimed that “this randomized controlled trial is perhaps the first to demonstrate the positive effects of cocoa polyphenols on mood in healthy participants.” They added that “this provides a rationale for exploring whether cocoa polyphenols can ameliorate the symptoms associated with clinical anxiety or depression.”
Dark chocolate is becoming more and more recognised for the health benefits it can provide and it looks like we’ve found another great reason to indulge.