That thing called “chocolate”

29 04 2009

Boyfriend Replacement Chocolate Bar

All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt! (Charles Schulz)

This holds very true for me.  So while waiting for my Romeo to come along, I might as well have a bar or a piece of dark chocolate and a good massage.  These are sort of my instant picker-uppers whenever I’m exhausted or just not in a good mood.  I would like to dwell more on chocolates in this writing, though.  Apparently, many are already aware that chocolate contains some chemicals that really improve one’s mood.

Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a naturally occurring amino-acid which some consider to have aphrodisiacal effects and is even said to be able to “cure” hangovers. Phenylethylamine is a substance which is released naturally in the human body when you’re in love. Other stimulants present in chocolate are dopamine and serotonin, which alleviate pain and encourage a good mood. Serotonin produces feelings of pleasure in a similar way to sunlight. Chocolate also contains theobromine, a chemical stimulant frequently confused with caffeine, but has very different effects on the human body. It is a mild, lasting stimulant with a mood improving effect. Its presence is one of the causes for chocolate’s mood-elevating effects.

According to the web, phenylethylamine or PEA is called the “love chemical” or “love drug”.  Maybe this is one reason why lately I have this very strong craving for chocolates – dark chocolates.  I must be longing for that “loving” feeling (hahaha). Honestly, feasting on a bar of really good dark chocolate gives me that warm and relaxed feeling, that unique pleasure especially the moment it slowly melts in your mouth. Ahhh!  Anyone wanna argue ?

I have several brands, from bar to truffles, in the fridge waiting to be gorged on.  The good thing about dark chocolate is its higher cocoa content compared with other variants which means more flavonoids or antioxidants.  But dark chocolate is still chocolate which is a high-calorie and high-fat food, thus, must be taken in moderation.  Based on studies, a 100-gram or 3.5-ounce bar of dark chocolate a day is beneficial.  Yeah, you read it right, that’s “a day”.  Ok, gotta grab a bar now….  More about chocolates next time.

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