Dark, white, milk or with hazelnuts, chocolate is a sweet temptation that most of us can’t resist! And sometimes, we can even imbibe an entire bar, instead of the one or two modest squares we had planned to nibble on…. So, does that make us addicts? Does cocoa lend itself to dependency?
An addiction to chocolate is possible
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate thaT chocolate dependency or addiction is possible, although it cannot strictly be considered a drug. Among the people who consume the most chocolate, those who eat more than 100 grams per day, giving up chocolate would cause only mild anxiety, and no more.
Different from sugar addiction
Chocolate is a special type of product, that produces a different type of pleasure than is produced by sugar, which can drive people to over-consumption. Chocolate in fact contains two substances that act on the brain: caffeine and theobromine. Caffeine is well known to promote the secretion of stimulant hormones.
Chocolate: an antidepressant containing substances similar to nicotine or morphine
Consuming chocolate, which is a mild stimulant, promotes the activation of certain brain circuits. Cocoa is rich in magnesium -a mineral salt that has antidepressant effects, which stimulates the secretion of dopamine. Chocolate also contains salsolinol, a substance comparable to nicotine or morphine, which mimics the effects of dopamine. Furthermore, chocolate can also have an affect on the sensory receptors, through its texture, its taste and its fat and sugar content, which promote the secretion of endorphins, the famous feel-good hormones. So there’s no reason to deny yourself, as long as you enjoy it in moderation!