Science has an explanation of why chocolate does what it does to us. But , really, do we need a scientific explanation when experiencing euphoria and bliss? The quality of chocolate also determines the quality “bliss” one experiences, and this is why SoBelle uses only fine Belgian chocolate for its product and insists on European chocolate-making standards so that every artful piece, when unwrapped, creates a sensation unlike any other on the palette.
So what happens when chocolate hits the palette? Besides your own personal ecstasy, here is science’s explanation*:
As you begin to chew, enjoy and swallow, your body begins to digest and metabolize over 300 compounds. Here are some highlights of what those compounds are:
- Tryptophan and serotonin: They create feelings of relaxation and well-being.
- Caffeine: This psychoactive substance creates temporary alertness.
- Xanthines: This mild stimulant occurs naturally in the brain and, like caffeine, increases wakefulness.
- Theobromine: This stimulant and vasodilator increases blood flow.
- Phenylethylamine: This compound stimulates the brain to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure and motivation.
- Anandamide: This neurotransmitter activates pleasure receptors in the brain.
- Flavonols: Found also in foods like red wine, blueberries and green tea, these compounds boost blood flow to key areas of the brain for two to three hours after being metabolized, creating effects similar to those of a mild analgesic (painkiller) like aspirin.
And there you have it.
*Source: Scientific Learning