According to the results of a study, prohibiting eating chocolate can cause states of anxiety and nervousness. We discover why.
A recent study has analyzed the different mechanisms -both psychological and physiological- that are accompanied by an irresistible desire to eat dark chocolate.
According to the research, chocolate causes a motivational conflict of approach and rejection, a wanting and not being able, something that would come to be related when a person urgently needs to eat chocolate.
Various theories suggest that cocoa contains a series of addictive substances, acting as a “drug” by making us feel good; in such a way that we will resort to it when we are in low or negative moods, such as anxiety, depression or stress.
According to the researcher, when comparing men and women, it is the latter who suffers a greater attraction to chocolates or chocolates, especially because, on a social level, she is required to be thin. When eating them, he experiences a feeling of guilt that men rarely experience.
What did the study consist of?
- Seventy-two healthy women, students, who did not suffer from any type of eating disorder were selected.
- Age range: between 18 and 23 years old.
- They were consistently tested on the display of images of varying emotional content, both pleasant and unpleasant.
- Body reactions (blinking, sweating, heart rate and respiration) were studied.
There is no doubt that chocolate is an extremely beneficial food for health, especially because it is capable of providing us with nutrients that help us maintain an optimal state of mind, while being rich in antioxidants (its pure dark chocolate version ).
Currently you can buy it in a wide variety of establishments and supermarkets. If you want to enjoy its most important properties, we recommend buying dark chocolate of at least 70%. The versions with milk have fewer virtues, and yes more caloric content.
And what are the qualities of chocolate for our emotions?
It is known by all that, almost without any doubt, chocolate is an excellent ally of our emotions, helping us in a certainly positive way when it comes to improving our mood, and ultimately gives us the possibility to feel much better about ourselves.
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate (the purer the better), exerts an interesting action both on the brain and on the mood. Why? Very simple: it has an amino acid known by the name of tryptophan, which stimulates the production of serotonin.
Serotonin, by the way, is a neurotransmitter that among other important functions is responsible for regulating our mood, so that its low levels are a recognized cause of anxiety.
Chocolate also produces endorphins, which stand out for being substances produced by our hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, and are responsible for producing a sensation of well-being and pleasure. In other words, eating chocolate brings us a lot of pleasure.
On the other hand, chocolate provides magnesium, an essential mineral especially useful against anxiety (commonly used in the treatment of anxiety).
But its qualities do not end here, since dark chocolate also provides interesting amounts of antioxidants, especially useful for reducing high levels of both cholesterol and triglycerides, as long as – yes – it is consumed in moderation and never in excess. Likewise, a regular consumption of natural antioxidants helps prevent premature aging of cells, and reduce the risk of cancer.
As we can see, there is no doubt that chocolate can become a wonderful complement to any natural anti-anxiety treatment. In any case, it is not the only useful supplement and we must remember that anxiety should always be treated professionally, especially when it extends over time, especially to avoid its most dangerous and serious consequences for health.