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Chocolate: Friend or foe?

Looking into the eye of the tiger

A recent study seems to point to the possibility that chocolate, while believed to temporarily lift mood, can actually act as a depressant over the longer run.  Of course, the results seem inconclusive and maybe even a little bit contradictory, but still interesting.

I’m sure the researchers accounted for this, but I actually wonder how much is the cocoa and how much is the additives and sugar.  You may have heard that the flavonoids in chocolate, that have antioxidant effects, are richer in dark chocolate and therefore dark chocolate is actually good for you.  The Mayans consumed cocoa as a bitter drink used in special rituals and spiced it with chilies, nothing like the sweet treat that the Europeans later developed.  So “chocolate” really does seem to be a subjective term reflecting a mixture of cocoa and other ingredients.  (Of course, I’m not a scientist, so who knows how they controlled that factor in the experiments.)

The only time I, personally, feel depressed post-chocolate is when I’ve lost my self control and have eaten the whole thing in one sitting.  But hey, if it’s dark chocolate, I do feel less depressed about it.

Read here for the full article on the study.

2 Responses to “Chocolate: Friend or foe?”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Whatever the research, I can promise you that the only real depressing effect chocolate has is way it affects my waistline. Other than that, I say keep on munching 70% or higher cocoa, and you’re mood will likely pick up for certain!

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