All around the globe, people are crazy about Dark Chocolates. Highly popular in all kinds of celebrations, like birthday parties, wedding anniversaries, festivals, guest visits, gifts to children may be of any age. In general, its high sugar and fat content make chocolate a snack for people to enjoy themselves. But consumers and experts are keen to find hidden depths to this wonder.
In short, we can say loved by most of the people from 6 months onwards. But, still things are not clear, are they having health benefits?
For this, a survey-based study was done by UCL (University College London). The need to go in details arose after looking at chocolate consumption all around the globe. Over the years, chocolate has been the center of attention and a great deal of research.
The UCL team worked in collaboration with scientists from the University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services Canada and the scientists had published their results in the journal of Depression & Anxiety.
Researchers found that it contains a number of psychoactive ingredients (ingredients which trigger brain function) which help in producing a feeling of intense excitement and happiness. It also restrains phenylethylamine, a neuromodulator that is believed to be regulating people’s moods.
Dark chocolate also constitutes a higher concentration of flavonoids, antioxidant chemicals that have been exposed to improve challenging profiles, which play a role in the onset of depression.
Experimental evidence also showed that mood enhancement will only be there if the chocolates are delicious and enjoyable to eat by one, which means that the experience of enjoying chocolate is also an important factor, the ingredients present in it is not just enough.
The studies on the basis of ingredients present in chocolate gave some evidence that consumption of chocolate, particularly Dark Chocolates, may be linked to improving depressive symptoms said by Dr. Sarah Jackson, from UCL.
Dr. Jackson said it a connecting relationship between eating dark chocolate and depression. Therefore, scientists have to understand the biological mechanism to conclude what type and how much quantity people should consume for “optimal depression prevention and management”.
Chocolate is widely reported to have mood‐enhancing properties because of this factor there arose a need to study chocolate and depression together.
Globally, depression is a widespread issue. We usually talk of therapies and medication treatments but therapies are often oversubscribed, so doctors, in general, prescribe antidepressants.
But again there was a problem as; these medications are not tolerated by everyone. It was also observed that most of the people stop taking within 6 weeks of beginning treatment.
Medications are truly difficult to maintain consistency, so, it is always better to have a good lifestyle that can improve depressive symptoms in priority. Yoga, Pranayama, and meditation appear to benefit some people with depression, but this also does not help everyone, and moreover, everyone is not able to exercise on a regular basis.
So, over the years, scientists had transformed into dietary interference to reduce depressive symptoms and were also successful. With this concept, the authors of the latest study explain that the commonly consumed foodstuff which can be mood‐enhancing assets is chocolate.”
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They assessed depressive symptoms with the Patient Health Questionnaire, which is a regular diagnostic tool for mental health disorders.
Overall, 11% of people approx. 1,332 participants reported eating chocolate and amongst these, 148 reported eating dark chocolate.
People who ate chocolate were more likely to be white Americans and have a higher household income. They were also observed to become non-smokers and also were not obese, this showed a good change and also good health benefits.
Is this good news?
It is excellent news for dark chocolate lovers as it has positive health benefits, but the authors said yet study is observational, so the team is not in a position to conclude that chocolate relieves depression. Further investigations are required to clarify the direction of its cause. Might be that depression causes people to lose their interest in eating Dark Chocolates, or could be making people less likely to eat dark chocolate and to be depressed.
Dr. Jackson said even if it gets proved that by eating dark Chocolates people are overcoming depression and are having many health benefits but, still the biological mechanism has to be understood and also have to determine the amount of chocolate consumption for optimal recovery and management.
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