Why is chocolate addictive?

It is that time of year again where eating chocolate is “ok” due to the copious amounts of chocolate bunnies and eggs that are found on every shelf in every store! Easter time is a time for family, friends, holidays, and of course chocolate consuming. However, take a look at these 5 facts about why chocolate is addictive before indulging this festive season!

1/ Though chocolate contains caffeine and other addictive substances that give a mini ‘high’, most nutritionists believe it is the overall combination of aroma, sweetness and texture that have us hooked.

2/ Chocolate contains cocoa butter which melts uniquely at just below body temperature, yielding a highly sensuous mouth feel.

3/ Many people’s weakest time for craving food is about 3pm when a dip in blood sugar combines with a natural energy lull. This mid-afternoon craving can be combated with replacing that sugar craving with a fruit or a cup of tea, or distracting yourself completely by going for a run or completing another task.

4/ Chocolate contains bioactive ingredients that increase the level of serotonin in the brain and signals the release of dopamine (the happy chemical) in the brain. To combat this effect, go for a jog as exercise releases serotonin and dopamine too!

5/ Emotional eating is a huge weight increasing factor for women, and we often find ourselves rummaging through the fridge when we are tired, stressed or emotionally down. Instead, take up a hobby that helps you release stress and tension such as a sport or something that you really enjoy!

Everything in moderation (I know, how boring we hear this all the time!). Rather than denying yourself chocolate completely and binging on the weekend, have a small piece of dark chocolate after dinner if you can stop yourself from munching the whole slab! One bon-bon a day of our cranberry nougat coated with dark chocolate is not going to hurt anybody!

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