With Easter (and Easter bunnies) right around the corner, I thought it was time to discover whether chocolate really *does* make us feel better. Well, folks, the jury is in. It's true!! It's not our imagination, chocolate really does energize us, make us feel more optimistic, less fatigued and gives us a brighter outlook on life.
A recent scientific study spells it out for us. Almost one thousand men and women were included in the study which examined the amount of chocolate consumed by depressed people versus people who are not depressed. The results are startling.
People suffering from major depressive symptoms ate 12 one ounce servings of chocolate a month, while those with milder depression ate just five servings a month. Both groups were helped significantly by chocolate. Their mood improved, their outlook on life was sunnier. (Dark chocolate is supposed to have more health benefits but as far as alleviating depression, any kind of chocolate is beneficial.) It doesn't have to be Godiva, either. (although Godiva is certainly good)
Researchers have not come up with a reason for these findings, although past studies indicated that an ingredient in chocolate is the same as a "feel-good" hormone (phenylethylamine) that is related to falling in love. So if you feel the urge for chocolate, feel free to indulge. Just remember to use common sense about portion control and to choose dark chocolate, if possible. So whether it's a simple Hershey bar, or a fabulous chocolate piano, picture below, you can savor every morsel.
Happy holidays, everyone!
By Mary Kennedy