Chocolate has always been a delicatessen for those who have a sweet tooth. It has a unique, rich and sweet taste, being savored by millions of people every day.
Chocolate have been enjoyed since 1750 BC by the Olmecs, the earliest known major civilization in Mesoamerica, now Mexico. The chocolate we eat is the result of a complex process that implies that the seeds of the cacao tree must be fermented in order to get rid of the bitter taste, then be roasted, ground and transformed into liquid, paste, block or powder.
The role of chocolate in depression
While being one of the most famous sweet, chocolate also has health benefits.
A new study conducted by a team of researchers found that dark chocolate is able to decrease the risk of depression by 70%. The study collected data from 13,626 adult subjects. The subjects had to answer questions in regards to their intake of chocolate and whether they had any indication they were depressive. The results of the study indicated that among those studied the people who ate dark chocolate decreased their risk of depression by 70%. What’s more, people who ate very high amounts of any kind of chocolate, also had a diminished the risk of depression than the people who did not eat chocolate at all. However, those that ate any other kind of chocolate, with the exception of the dark kind, in small quantities did not registered any change in their depressive disposition.
The reason dark chocolate has such an important role in our psychological health is that cocoa consists of flavonoids. They are antioxidants that are able to lessen the inflammation in the body, which, in turn, can lead to the commencement of depression. The psychoactive ingredients and the phenylethylamine help increasing the mood by generating a euphoria-like sensation.
It is worth mentioning that the chocolate must contain a high concentration of cocoa, of more than 70%.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.