World Chocolate Day is celebrated annually on July 7. This is a day to indulge in your favorite chocolate, whether it is dark, milk, hot chocolate, cake, pastry, milkshake, etc. It is said to have been first introduced in Europe on July 7, 1550. Chocolate comes in different flavors, including milk, white and dark chocolate. In this article, we will explore the potential connection between dark chocolate and stress levels.
89% of India’s population suffering from stress
Dark chocolate along with its other health benefits like lowering blood pressure and reducing heart disease risk also helps to lower your stress levels. Yes, it is now the well-known fact that moderate consumption of dark chocolate reduces the stress levels too. The wonder chocolate is filled with flavonoids commonly known as antioxidants which can help save you from free radical damage. These flavonoids are believed to be responsible for brain and heart benefits.
Did you know?
Chocolates can be termed as ‘Food of the Gods” due to its health benefits
Initially, researchers always believed that the happiness part of the chocolate is related to the sugar content, but the first study conducted by Lee Berk, the lead author mentioned it’s the cocoa content which was nearly 60 – 70% was responsible for the effect that the subjects observed.
In the study, approx. 40 grams of dark chocolate was consumed by the volunteers who rated themselves as highly stressed. These volunteers ate the given amount of dark chocolate every day for two weeks.
Post 2 weeks, reduced levels of stress hormones like cortisol were observed by the research team. The study provided strong evidence that daily consumption of 40 grams of dark chocolate during a period of 2 weeks is sufficient to modify the stress levels of healthy human volunteers.
Hence, from the study, it was clear that the antioxidant content of dark chocolate may reduce your stress levels. It can also help you reduce the risk of heart disease and other emotional conditions.
This, however, was the first study done on humans on how dark chocolate can help with stress and thus more and more study is required.
Meanwhile, enjoy that one cube of dark chocolate without any guilt!!