Oftentimes times we all need a better brain, or a least a better working one at various points on any given day. Breakthrough new information about the brain is perhaps more profuse than in anytime during human history,and information about the brain and the effects of chocolate is no exception.
According to research the average American consumes 11.5 pounds of chocolate per year. That’s alot of chocolate. Most of us know that if we eat too much of it often we’ll gain lots of weight but what effect does it have on the brain? There is oodles of research about it.
The most well known kernel of this research is that chocolate releases endorphins in the brain.What are endorphins? Brain chemicals that signal pleasure. The pleasure can be likened to a “runners high,”or just the feeling of feeling good after walking a few laps in Sacramento’s McKinley Park. As quoted in The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hersy and Mars by Joel Glenn Brenner, Nutrition Researcher Micheal Levine says, “Chemically speaking, chocolate really is the world’s perfect food.”
Most significant, is the recent findings that chocolate can lessen the risk of strokes. An analysis done at the University of Cambridge compared two groups of chocolate eaters; one group who ate less chocolate per week and a group who ate more and found that those who ate more, reduced their chances of stroke by 37%. Considering stroke is one of the three leading causes of death in American society, this can prove to be significant for millions of Americans as related to diet and lifestyle choices as related to overall health.
Now maybe you’re thinking, can chocolate improve my brain’s overall capacity for better functioning? Well, currently there’s no research emerging that covers this wider ground, but undoubtedly chocolate is an important food for Americans and the world. Its become apart of our DNA. During WWII the U.S. Government provided chocolate made by the Hersey Company to the military to boost morale and chocolate is included on the menu for Astronauts.
Simply, chocolate makes Americans happy and according to science, literally. And, it’s not just an American passion. Switzerland leads the world in chocolate consumption, Austria second and Ireland in third place. All brain research aside, chocolate is a world food phenomenon– a curse for some, a balm for others that’s here to stay.
Stay tuned for upcoming article exploring the labor side of the world’s production of chocolate.