Eating dark chocolate could lower risk of depression, study finds

Dark chocolate has been a foodie hero for quite some time and now we know why. [Photo: Getty]

New research has found that dark chocolate could lower the risk of depression by up to 70%.

The large-scale study discovered that eating a significant slab (104g) of plain dark chocolate every day could act as a natural mood booster.

While the high-cocoa content in dark chocolate is reportedly better, researchers also found that people who ate the most chocolate (dark or not) were less likely to have feelings related to depression.

The magic chemicals and compounds to thank for this mood boost are called flavanoids and phenylethylamine (PEA).

Flavanoids is a natural substance found in most fruit and vegetables and PEA is an organic compound which stimulates the nervous system.

It's reported that the compounds in chocolate offer some of the same mood-lifting effects as cannabis.

14,000 adults took part in the study at the University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services Canada.

"This study provides some evidence that consumption of chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, may be associated with reduced odds of clinically relevant depressive symptoms." The lead author from UCL, Dr Sarah Jackson, said.

Further research is still required to determine whether depression causes people to eat less dark chocolate, Dr Jackson explained.

Dark chocolate has been heralded as somewhat of a hero-food for some time.

Studies have shown that can protect against cancer and heart disease due to its antioxidants.

Flavanoids have also been linked to lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.

If you need to quit smoking, scientists also recommend that you sniff chocolate, so it's handy to have plenty around.

We certainly don't need anymore convincing.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo

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