Can Eating Chocolate Improve Your Mental Health?

Can Eating Chocolate Improve Your Mental Health?

Can Eating Chocolate Improve Your Mental Health?

Picture of Books and Sweets

Books and Sweets

In the modern world, there is more and more of a focus on mental health and the ways in which you can improve it. What you put into your body has an enormous impact on your mood, energy levels, and general sense of wellbeing. When people think of mental health food, they often focus on fruit and vegetables, but can chocolate play a positive role in your life? In fact, studies have shown that dark chocolate can be beneficial – particularly if it has a cocoa concentration of 70% or higher. So, let’s look at a few of the positive qualities of chocolate.  

Chocolate Contains Flavonoids

Plant nutrients known as flavonoids have been identified in chocolate, as well as tea, red wine, and certain fruits and vegetables. These have been shown to offer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral benefits, which can provide a boost to the immune system, as well as decreasing cholesterol and improving blood flow. A healthier body naturally leads to a healthier mind, as well as helping to enhance your mood.

Chocolate May Improve Your Mood

There is no doubt that many people feel calmer and more content after they have eaten some chocolate. In fact, this effect is scientifically supported. Dark chocolate can serve to stimulate chemicals that create a sense of pleasure in the brain known as endorphins. Not only this, but it also contains serotonin, which can act as a natural antidepressant. However, this doesn’t mean that you should become over reliant on chocolate as a mood booster when you are feeling low. There are plenty of effective alternatives out there including exercise, talking with people close to you, and, of course, reading a good book.

Chocolate May Boost Cognitive Function

We have already mentioned the flavonoids in chocolate, and some of their positive qualities. In fact, they are also linked to improved cognitive functioning – particularly in tasks related to learning and memory. If you feel more ‘switched on’ when you are at work and home, this can help to contribute to an overall improvement in your mood.

Chocolate Tastes Great

Finally, there is the simple fact that chocolate tastes great! A lot of people feel a sense of contentment when they sit down to enjoy a piece of chocolate, and the feelings of pleasure that you get from eating it can help to banish other negative emotions. While this isn’t a long-term fix, the short-term benefits can be enormously effective.

As you can see from this list of reasons above, there are plenty of different ways in which chocolate can have an overall positive impact on your mental health. Of course, like all things in life, it is all about a sense of balance, so chocolate should be part of a healthy diet. But there’s no doubt that it’s a bonus if your favourite sweet treat is also helping to boost your mental health! 


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