Chocolate feel-good factor, myth or science?

Chocolate feel-good factor, myth or science?

“A little bit of what you fancy does you good!” How many times has that expression been used to justify unwrapping a bar of luxury chocolate? We all feel we deserve to treat ourselves occasionally. Of course, personalised chocolate gifts double up the joy, bringing pleasure to both the giver and the receiver!

Is the feel-good factor from chocolate bars - and boxes of delicious treats - all in our mind?

What does Science say?

Interestingly, science backs up the view that gourmet chocolate and other quality items made from cocoa are a genuine source of 'happiness'.

Studies have charted the physiological response to eating chocolate, particularly the effect it has on brain activity. Some suggest that it causes the release of endorphins. You may already be familiar with this mood-enhancing hormone, which is also connected to the good effects of exercise and being in love!

Which is why endorphins, dopamine and serotonin are often referred to as the ‘happiness hormones’.

In fact, there are reports that all three of these can result from consuming a delicious bar of quality chocolate.

Behind the facts

It’s only fair to issue a word of caution here. Consuming large amounts of chocolate is not a sure-fire, scientific cure for feeling blue! Particularly as some medical studies suggest the hormone release from chocolate is low scale.

However, eating luxury chocolate gifts or items we buy for ourselves can make us feel better.

This could be more about the ‘experience’ than chemistry. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to munch down luxury chocolate dashing around mindlessly. Most people take time out to relax and savour every mouthful. Or, in the case of Love Cocoa Luxury, sip it to enjoy all the sensations.

It’s something that the Psychology Today journal refers to as ‘self-compassion’. Taking time out to treat yourself, which can improve motivation, self-worth and resilience!

Well, you can’t argue with that as justification to indulge yourself or a loved one with a chocolate box or bar!