Chocolate and Endorphins
Written by: Megan Hardi, July 2020
How does Chocolate make you feel good
Eating chocolate stimulates your body to release “feel good” chemicals, like endorphins, and may interact with other neurotransmitter systems (such as Serotonin and Dopamine). The interactions with these systems influence your mood, appetite, and reward regulation (1). Researchers say that after the first bite of chocolate, the “feel good” chemicals spike and increase feelings of pleasure as the cocoa is absorbed in your bloodstream (2). That being said, the amount of cocoa in your chocolate bar can influence the amount of these “feel good” chemicals.
Which Chocolates Boosts the most Endorphins?
To put it simply, chocolate with at least 85% cacao leads to more endorphin release (2). The cacao percentage is a combination of the amount of cocoa beans and cocoa butter, these contribute to the creamy taste and intensity of the chocolate flavor (3). Dark chocolate typically contains 60% to 100% cacao and thus, is your best source for a midday pick me up! In the US, cocoa butter, so these may not give you the surge of endorphins you are looking for (3).
Having a simple piece of dark chocolate every day to satisfy your cravings or for a slight boost in your mood can get boring. No worries! Here are some ways to incorporate chocolate into your meal plans to spice things up:
- Chocolate covered strawberries (bonus points for getting some fruits in!)
- Chocolate babka (check this one off your quarantine baking lists)
- Banana bread topped with dark chocolate chips
- Dark chocolate hummus
- Remix Snacks’ Bean Bark (available in Apple, Cranberry, and Peach!)
So, if you want to get your dose of feel-good chemicals, order yourself a bag of our Bean Bark for your perfect midday pick me up!!
Nehlig, Astrid. "The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance." British journal of clinical pharmacology3 (2013): 716-727.
DiNuzzo, Emily. “This Is What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Chocolate.” The Healthy, The Healthy, 10 Sept. 2018, thehealthy.com/nutrition/what-chocolate-does-to-your-body/.
Cacao Magazine. “Dark, Milk, White Chocolate - What's the Difference?” Cacao Magazine, 13 Jan. 2020, readcacao.com/blog/different-types-of-chocolate-dark-milk-and-white-chocolate/#:~:text=In the U.S., a bar,has adopted a similar rule.
Malley's Team. “Chocolate & the Brain: The Science Behind Chocolate: Malley's Chocolates.” Malleys Chocolates, 9 Oct. 2017, malleys.com/blog/link-between-chocolate-endorphins-in-the-brain/.