Wellbeing

It’s Official, Science Says Chocolate Reduces Stress

Ever bought a family block of chocolate, told yourself you’d have “just a couple” of squares but end up devouring the whole entire thing instead like an actual trash monster? No need to feel guilty anymore, scientists say it’s OK.

But before you duck down to your local supermarket and stock up on a variety of choccy treats, hear us out because there’s a bit of a catch.

Recent studies by Dr Lee S Berk Associate Dean of Research Affairs, School of Allied Health Professions, and a researcher in psychoneuroimmunology (the study of the effect of the mind on health and resistance to disease) and food science from Loma Linda University found that dark chocolate with a high concentration of cacao – at least 70% – can have positive effects on stress, inflammation, memory, mood, and even the immune system.

Dark chocolate. You know, the kind you lie about enjoying because you’re trying to be a skinny legend? Just kidding, while dark choc is certainly no milk chocolate, it’s still pretty tasty, and carries some serious health benefits.

“For years, we have looked at the influence of dark chocolate on neurological functions from the standpoint of sugar content – the more sugar, the happier we are,” says Dr Berk in Science Daily.

“This is the first time that we have looked at the impact of large amounts of cacao in doses as small as a regular-sized chocolate bar in humans over short or long periods of time, and are encouraged by the findings,” he continues.

The studies showed that the higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood and immunity.

So next time those cravings hit, buy some of the higher cacao-concentrated stuff and snack guilt-free. Thanks, science!

(Lead Image: Bridget Jones’s Diary)


Bradley is a writer from regional NSW and he didn’t come here to make friends, he came to win. He tweets infrequently to his 69 followers @bradjohnston_.