Dark Chocolate May Ease Anxiety
Dark chocolate has previously been linked to a number of health benefits, and according to this latest study, it may even help people suffering from high levels of anxiety to reduce their stress responses.
(It’s worth noting that the study was conducted by a Nestle research group, so there’s potential for bias, but since there’s plenty of other research to back up the benefits of cocoa, their findings are interesting nonetheless.)
The researchers found that eating 40 grams of dark chocolate (Nestle brand Noir Intense, consisting of 74 percent cocoa solids) every day for two weeks affected the way stress hormones were metabolized.
In the high anxiety group, eating this amount of dark chocolate significantly reduced stress hormone levels, and the participants in this group also reported feeling less anxious after eating chocolate.
These findings did not apply to participants in the low anxiety group.
They explain the results by showing that people with higher levels of anxiety also have a distinctly different metabolic profile.
Dark chocolate reduced the urinary excretion of the stress hormone cortisol and catecholamines, and partially normalized stress-related differences in energy metabolism and gut microbial activities.
This all sounds well and good, however I’d be leery of consuming as much as 40 grams of chocolate each and every day.