American critic and journalist Alexander Woollcott is the author of the words “Everything I like is either illegal or immoral or fattening.” Chocolate gently fits in with this maxim – admittedly it is legal and far from being considered immoral; without a doubt, however, he is fat and addictive!

A source of health and happiness

The delicacy based on cocoa beans is rich in valuable ingredients. It does not lack magnesium, which is responsible for regulating the efficiency of nerve cells and releasing energy from food – in addition, chocolate is considered the best source (especially bitter and dark chocolate). The white and milk version of chocolate is rich in calcium, which is responsible for bone structure (this mineral is 99% in the skeleton, the remaining fraction is located in soft tissues). Another micronutrient – iron has a hematopoietic function, in addition, it is responsible for transporting oxygen in the body. In addition, chocolate contains selenium and zinc, which in turn support the release of endorphins (happiness hormones).

Among the organic ingredients caffeine, theobromine and phenylalanine and anandamide are mentioned – they are considered harmful.

Addictive bliss

The facts are inexorable – chocolate also contains ingredients that negatively affect the body, including substances that act on receptors located in the brain.

These ingredients have been mentioned above – it is phenylalanine and anandamide. They also affect the secretion of endorphins, but they do it with extreme strength. Opioid receptors responsible for the production of happiness hormones react in a similar way to the action of morphine (inhibit the feeling of pain), and cause a feeling of calmness, pleasure, bliss, and even cause euphoric states. Due to the fact that the nervous system is a fairly flexible structure, and the body needs positive stimulation, the above-mentioned substances cause strong psychological and physical addiction.

However, caffeine is blamed for the addictive nature of chocolate. It is a psychoactive agent, which, when taken for a long time, leads to tachyphylaxis, or tolerance (similar to the happiness hormone). This substance extremely easily overcomes the blood-brain barrier and, due to its structural similarity to adenosine, acts as an antagonist to adenosine receptors, which in turn can lead to addiction. Although caffeine also has a positive effect, it is considered an addictive substance, therefore excessive consumption of chocolate has even gained the title of “chocolate-holism”.

Chocolate – eat or not eat?

Due to the richness of minerals and a positive effect on metabolism, chocolate is an important element of the diet, but you must not forget that its excessive consumption leads not only to obesity, but also psycho-physical addiction. If, like us, you have a weakness for such sweets, reach for vegan chocolate without lactose and gluten!