OK, honestly? It doesn’t take a scientist to tell me that chocolate makes me feel better. But they’re saying it anyway–new evidence that dark chocolate helps ease emotional stress was just published in “Metabolic Effects of Dark Chocolate Consumption on Energy, Gut Microbiota, and Stress-Related Metabolism in Free-Living Subjects.” I don’t know how my gut microbiota feel about it, but it’s doing wonders for my mood.
The study found that eating about an ounce and a half of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced levels of stress hormones in the bodies of people feeling highly stressed.The daily dose also partially corrected other stress-related biochemical imbalances. And that’s not all…Sunil Kochhar and colleagues note growing scientific evidence that antioxidants and other beneficial substances in dark chocolate may reduce risk factors for heart disease and other physical conditions. Although studies in the past have suggested that chocolate may ease emotional stress, there was little evidence until now from research in humans on exactly how chocolate might have those stress-busting effects.
In the study, scientists identified reductions in stress hormones and other stress-related biochemical changes in volunteers who rated themselves as highly stressed and ate dark chocolate for two weeks. “The study provides strong evidence that a daily consumption of 40 grams [1.4 ounces] during a period of 2 weeks is sufficient to modify the metabolism of healthy human volunteers,” the scientists say. Sign me up…
For more about the importance of Fair Trade Certified chocolate, see Easy Greening: Chocolate.