In a world where the news seems to get worse and worse, there’s finally something uplifting in the headlines: Chocolate can relieve stress.
According to psychcentral.com writer Rick Nauert PhD, chocolate does seem to help the body cope with stress, and helps to correct any biochemical imbalances related to stress.
H’mm … Prozac in one hand. Chocolate in the other. Which one to take? Man, you’ve got to be kidding.
According to Nauert:
In a clinical trial, investigators 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.
I wouldn’t have minded being a lab rat for this test.
OK. Who cares about what the clinical tests say? I could have done these tests myself and saved the scientific community a ton of money. Maybe I can’t tell these scientists the chemical breakdown of how chocolate works on mind and body, but I can tell them the world would really suck without it.
Nauert’s article also mentions a few other bonuses of dark chocolate:
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.
That’s the buzzword in nutritional circles these days: Antioxidants. That’s the mystery stuff you find in some food that, if it doesn’t cure all your ills, it helps to make the body more resistant to all kinds of illnesses. Fortunately, you’ll find a good dose of antioxidants in all my favorite things:
Sweet tea (known in these parts as “Southern crack”).
And now chocolate.
Bring it on. And while you’re about it, fire all those viruses at me. I’ll shed them like Superman does with bullets.
And then there’s this:
Studies also suggest that chocolate may ease emotional stress. Until now, however, there was little evidence from research in humans on exactly how chocolate might have those stress-busting effects.
Ahh, the mystique of chocolate … Di, a blogger who writes about her experiences in the love wars, will tell you about it:
I remember getting a book years ago for chocoholics like myself. In one chapter there was scientific evidence cited to show that the human brain experienced similar chemical reactions when they “fell in love” and when they ate chocolate. This led the scientists to the conclusion that people eat chocolate as a substitute for love. However, chocoholics like myself know that the opposite it true – that people fall in love as a substitute for chocolate …
Now, even though I’m male (you know the Mars/Venus dichotomy), this still makes sense to me. A whole lot of sense. We guys may not talk about it, but we’ve got to have our chocolate too.
Another rumor I’d heard years ago was that some components of chocolate were structurally similar to THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Now, that sounds like the makings of good urban legend, but aq dose of chocolate does seem to make the world a better, more peaceful place. Now, it’s been many years (actually decades) since I’ve smoked one of those left-handed cigarettes, and I’ve never felt like I missed it. Who needs it when you’ve got chocolate?
I don’t think chocolate will give you the munchies, but writing about it sure does. I think there’s a last piece of cake in the fridge. I’m after it.