Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too? Chocolate has always been a guilty pleasure for many of us, but what if we told you that there's a science behind this indulgence? Chocolate has always been known to uplift our mood, and studies have shown that it has a positive effects on mental health. But did you know that certain ingredients found in vegan chocolate can help relieve stress and anxiety and has a wealth of beneficial effects? In this blog post, Pure Heavenly will dive deep into the world of vegan chocolate and explore the ingredients that can help you relax and chill.
The first ingredient that we're going to talk about is flavonoids. Flavonoids are antioxidants that can be found in cacao beans, which are the main ingredient in chocolate. They work by improving blood flow to the brain, which in turn reduces inflammation and oxidative stress and helps to improve brain function. These two factors are major causes of anxiety and depression. The higher the cocoa solids percentage in chocolate, the more flavonoids you will find. So next time you're feeling stressed, opt for dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage.
The next ingredient on our list is magnesium. Magnesium is crucial for maintaining a healthy nervous system, and it's also known for its relaxing properties. Scientific evidence shows that a 100-gram serving of milk chocolate, dark chocolate or even white chocolate contains around 100 milligrams of magnesium, which is approximately 25% of the recommended daily intake. This mineral can also help regulate cortisol levels, which is the hormone that's produced when we're stressed. So not only does magnesium help us relax, but it's also an effective way to help us regulate stress.
Theobromine is another ingredient that can be found in cocoa beans. It's a natural stimulant that's similar to caffeine, but it doesn't have the same side effects, such as jitteriness and insomnia and so is perfect for healthy adults. Theobromine works by stimulating the central nervous system and increasing dopamine levels, which can help improve mood and is ideal for stress relief. However, be careful not to consume too much theobromine as it can be toxic in large doses.
Anandamide is a molecule that can be found in chocolate, and it's responsible for the feeling of bliss that we experience after consuming it. Anandamide is a neurotransmitter that binds to the same receptors in the brain as THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana. It can help reduce anxiety and depression by producing feelings of euphoria and relaxation. In addition to this, new research shows it also helps to aid brain health. So the next time you're feeling down, grab a bar of vegan chocolate and let the anandamide work its magic.
Last but not least, we have phenylethylamine (PEA). PEA is a stimulant that's produced in the brain when we're in love, and it can also be found in chocolate. PEA works by increasing dopamine levels, which can help improve mood and reduce stress. It's also been known to boost cognitive function and there is strong evidence that it helps to improve focus. So next time you're feeling overwhelmed, have a piece of vegan chocolate and feel the stress melt away.
Chocolate isn't just a guilty pleasure, it's a scientific wonder. The ingredients found in vegan chocolate can help us relax, reduce stress, and improve our mood. From flavonoids to PEA, each component has a role to play in our mental health. So the next time you're feeling anxious or overwhelmed, grab a bar of vegan chocolate and let the ingredients work their magic. But remember, chocolate should always be consumed in moderation. Also aim for a chocolate that has less sugar (like ours) and has a higher percent cocoa as you'll get all of the benefits of the chocolate without any of the obvious side effects.