Blog, Health, Psychology

The Science of Chocolate; Why is it so Addictive?

Chocolate! Just the sound of its name makes you want to have it. I cannot believe that someone would not be fond of chocolates, something so yummy and delicious. But what is it that makes a person so addictive to it?

A chocoholic is a person who craves or compulsively consumes chocolate. The word is a combination of the words ‘chocolate’ and ‘alcoholic.’ According to a study about food cravings, chocolate was voted among the top ten foods people crave for.

Scientists have been doing research on chocolate to find out why this is so. What has been found is that chocolate contains several chemicals that help our brain release some key neurotransmitters.

The most important chemical is an essential amino acid, tryptophan. It is a precursor of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in regulating our moods. High serotonin level in the brain produces a feeling of elation which makes the person crave for more.

The reason you get a feeling of delight when you eat a bar is due to the release of endorphins which are known as happy hormones. Whenever they are released, they make the person happy and joyful.

Another neurotransmitter is phenyl ethylamine, also known as ‘the love drug’. It arouses feelings similar to those when a person is in love.

You must have heard your dentist say that do not consume too much chocolate, but in fact chocolate has many health benefits. It elevates your mood, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol as it contains anti-oxidants. It helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. It makes your skin glow, and fights depression.

So next time if someone warns you about consuming too much chocolate, do tell them these health benefits.