My two favorite vices are:
coffee and chocolate.
Coffee gets me through my mornings and chocolate gets me through my evenings!
I’ve blogged quite a bit about how coffee gets a bad wrap, since it actually does have some health benefits (I have all of these free health articles waiting for you, just click the links below to read them):
- Higher Coffee Intake, Lower Mortality Rate
- Coffee Protective Against MS
- Coffee Decreases Your Risk of Diabetes
- Caffeine — Best Study Aid Ever?
- Latest Study Reveals Heart Protective Properties of Caffeine
- Coffee to Prevent Dementia AND Reduce Skin Cancer? Yep…
But today let’s focus on chocolate.
Years ago I wrote to you about a medical article, published in the British Medical Journal in May 2011, showing that folks who consume chocolate often… every single day or even multiple times a day… have an almost 40% reduced risk of heart attack and an almost 30% reduced risk of stroke.
In fact, the patients who consumed the most chocolate had the most cardio and neurologic protection.
The outcome was a significant finding which showed that increased chocolate consumption correlated to a third less risk of cardiometabolic events, such as heart attack and stroke.
This was a huge, meta analysis looking at over 4,500 different published articles in the medical literature and a whopping 114,000 patients. This large study population makes these results very impressive and very reliable.
The effects are suggested to be attributed to high polyphenols in chocolate, which increase the bioavailability of nitric oxide… this in turn improves endothelial function, reduces platelet aggregation, and over all has a positive effect on blood pressure, blood lipids, and insulin resistance.
The study included any and all forms of chocolate, whether dark, milk or white chocolate.
Now, an even newer study has just been released that back up these findings further, showing the positive effects of eating chocolate on health in a different way — in protecting mood and guarding against mood disorders.
Published on July 29, 2019 in Depression and Anxiety, researchers found that dark chocolate consumption significantly reduced a patients chance of feeling depressive symptoms for a 24 hour period of time.
Looking at over 13,000 patients, researchers found that eating any amount of dark chocolate decreased depressive symptoms by 70% over patients who did not consume chocolate in the previous 24 hours.
OMG why is this not front page news?!?! Uh… hello! Chocolate effectively and dramatically prevents you from feeling depressed the next day. If I could give you a Rx drug that was 70% effective in completely taking away depressive symptoms for 24 hours, we’d literally all be fighting to get it, some might even advocate for putting it in our water supply.
Now imagine if this miracle drug tasted just like chocolate.
Now imagine it wasn’t a drug at all and it was just simply chocolate itself.
Wish come true, that’s what they found.
To explain this mood lifting effect, researchers point out that chocolate contains several psychoactive ingredients, including anandamide analogs (which work similar to cannabinoids) as well as phenylethylamine, a mood regulating neuromodulator.
Getting a mood lifting high from chocolate? Heck yes. Make mine a double.
Chocolate also contains flavonoids, which decreases inflammation. As I’ve already blogged for you right here, we know that inflammation depresses mood. And I’d like to add to these findings the fact that you are also releasing endorphins from the happiness of eating chocolate (or… um… at least I am!)
Now, didn’t that just brighten your day?
Now all I need is for them to release chocolate directly in an IV infusion and I am all set to go!!!!
I’ve always been a big fan of eating what brings you joy (as I blog about here) but this just makes me all the happier as I reach for my nightly chocolate. And after this medical study, I’m switching over to dark chocolate — will you join me?
Eat some dark chocolate today and feel happier today AND tomorrow…