- It was a “classy” drink. Cacao beans were used by the Aztecs to prepare a hot, frothy beverage with stimulant and restorative properties. Chocolate was reserved for warriors, nobility, and priests.
- It makes you happy. We know what you’re thinking: “Of course chocolate makes you happy – it’s so
good!” But there’s scientific evidence to back up those light-hearted feelings. Like other palatable
sweet foods, consumption of chocolate triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s endogenous
opiates. Enhanced endorphin-release reduces the chocolate-eater’s sensitivity to pain and contributes to the warm inner glow induced in susceptible chocoholics.
- It’ll help you live longer. Two of the world’s longest living people – Jeanne Calment (122 years old) and Sarah Knauss (119 years old) – were considered chocoholics by today’s standards. In fact, Calment habitually ate two pounds of chocolate per week before her doctor instructed her to give up sweets.
- Chocolate is complex. More than 300 different constituent compounds in chocolate have been identified. Eating large amounts may give you an energy boost. Chocolate contains caffeine, but the caffeine is present only in modest quantities. It is easily obtained from other sources. Indeed a whole ounce of milk chocolate contains no more caffeine than a typical cup of “decaffeinated” coffee.
- It decreases stress. Chocolate also contains tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid. It is the rate-limiting step in the production of the mood-modulating neurotransmitter serotonin. Enhanced serotonin function typically diminishes anxiety.