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❓Does eating chocolate make you feel good? 🍫

Blog adapted from original post written by Hannah Hepton - Fiero Fitness Saltash

Here at Decades Reloaded and Fiero Fitness, we have a keen interest in the topic of Mental Health and how exercise can boost our mood, but there has been much research in recent years regarding the possible link between eating chocolate and participant reported mood boosted benefits.

Though past studies have had conflicting results, the majority point to a positive link between particularly dark chocolate consumption and a decrease in depressive symptoms or an elevated mood.

In one large study in the U.S, researchers suggested several ways chocolate might play an active role in alleviating low mood. They surmise that chocolate contains neurochemicals that play a role in the regulation of mood and antioxidants that help fight inflammation, which may also factor into depressive symptoms in some people.

For many, eating chocolate induces feelings of pleasure simply because it tastes good and therefore the act of feeling pleasure increases feel good hormones such as Serotonin and Dopamine in the brain.

However, other researchers suggest that the mood boost comes from the 'comfort food effect' which chocolate gives us.

Comfort foods are often linked to nostalgic memories. Researchers suggest, while you might genuinely enjoy a flavour, it’s often the deeper meaning linked to that food that boosts your mood. The power of comfort foods on the mind may be so strong, in fact, the smell alone could be enough to bring about mood-boosting activity in the brain.

Whatever your take on this and why eating chocolate might make you feel good, there is no definitive answer on the subject and so it's important to remember that depression and serious mood disorders require professional support. If you are experiencing prolonged feelings of low mood or other depressive symptoms, please speak to your GP.

In conclusion, we know that we love chocolate (while some of our instructors may disagree over which brand is best!) and that whilst we may not know exactly why in hard scientific terms, it's ok to enjoy a little of what makes us feel good.

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