eating dark chocolate improves your mood

Eating chocolate doesn’t just make you happy because it’s delicious, it actually improves your mood.

New research has shown that eating dark chocolate improves your mood. But that is not really new: a number of earlier studies have also found that chocolate lifts up your mood.

The first hints came with a 2007 study (Appetite 2007;49:667-74) that suggested that chocolate improves negative mood (Appetite 2007;49:667-74). The second found that dark chocolate cocoa polyphenols improved calmness and contentedness (J Psychopharmacol 2013;27:451-8). Subsequent studies have also supported the mood enhancing effects of chocolate (J Psychopharmacol 2010 Oct;24(10):1505-14).

The new study gave healthy adults either no chocolate (the unlucky group), 30g of 70% dark chocolate (lucky group) or 30g of 85% dark chocolate (very lucky group) for 3 weeks. The 85% dark chocolate significantly reduced negative feeling scores on the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule.

Interestingly, gut microbiota diversity was significantly higher in the 85% dark chocolate group. In particular, a probiotic known as Blautia obeum was significantly more elevated, and the mood enhancing effects of chocolate correlated with the level of Blautia obeum, suggesting for the first time that dark chocolates psychological effects may work, at least in part, because it is a prebiotic that can positively affect the gut microbiome.

Blautia obeum has been reported to be lower in people with some psychiatric disorders.

So, the evidence gets richer that eating dark chocolate really is good for your mood.


The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 2021;doi.org.10.1016/j.jnutbio.2021.108854


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