Why we Crave Chocolate

Why we Crave Chocolate

You crave it.  I crave it.  We all crave it. I’m talking about chocolate, a sweet that’s in a category by itself.  But what is so special about chocolate?  Why do lovers send a heart-shaped box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day, instead of strawberry pastries or licorice whips?  Is it simply the rich and creamy texture and delicious taste? After all, chocolate has over 500 flavor components, more than twice the amount found in strawberry and licorice combined.  I took this as an opportunity to do some difficult research that included eating a lot of chocolate.  While I was eating squares and truffles by the pound and finding myself happier, other researchers with degrees and funding, such as Danielle Piomelli, were publishing scientific explanations for why we love and crave this confection.  Danielle found that chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a natural substance that increases the activity of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) that stimulate the same reaction in the body as falling in love.  And there is more!  Another neurotransmittercalled anandamide has been isolated in chocolate. This one stimulates feelingsof euphoria and changes one’s perception of time.  The good news keeps coming: there is two other brain chemicals found in chocolate that inhibit the natural breakdown of anandamide.  This means that these euphoric feelings will last longer when we eat chocolate.  



4 comments (Add your own)

1. Rebecca wrote:
So, I must be weird, but I actually don't really crave chocolate. Sure, I like it, but I don't crave it any more than any other food. And if for some reason I do think it sounds really good, I only eat a small amount and then I remember that I don't like to eat large amounts of chocolate. It just makes me feel sick. I suppose the massive blood sugar spike overrides my feelings of euphoria.

Mon, July 27, 2009 @ 4:00 PM

2. Tracy Morano wrote:
DO you know that if you are craving chocolate there is no other food that can satisfy you. So if I want a piece of chocolate I just have a tiny square or one of the small snack size servings and then my craving has gone. I do admit that if the english chocolate is what I have I could eat the whole bar. ttfn,

Mon, August 3, 2009 @ 2:26 PM

3. laurel white wrote:
I had read somewhere, why we give chocolate on Valentine's Day?The reason is, when digested, there's a chemical reaction in the body and it gives us the same feeling as fallin in love!!!!!Good to know . LOL. Plus it's a decadant treat that we all deserve. Hey and extra 2 minute's of shimmy and it's gone anyhow. YUMMY!
ps. the higher % of "Cocoa" the better, look for 80%. Full of antioxidants. Chili Pepper, my favorite. Found at Pier 1 Imports.Just Fabulous!

Fri, August 14, 2009 @ 9:16 PM

4. Laurel White. wrote:
Dugh, if u just received a comment from me, that just goes to show you , Head Injury, Dugh. I didn't read the whole article, or didn't remember parts of it. you will probably think i'm nuts. ok please disreguard any comment on chocolate. You already know. Good article. /brain Damage. Laurel.

Fri, August 14, 2009 @ 9:22 PM

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