Chocolate Lovers - Our Deep Desire
I just spent the weekend at the Langley Food and Wine Show and my daughter was busy at the Vancouver VegExpo selling our truffles. I always leave these venues feeling such a deep sense of gratitude for my job and an overwhelming sense of appreciation and love for the human race.
The part I love most about my job is that moment after a person puts a sample of our truffles into their mouth. Something happens… Something glorious and inexplicable and fabulous. A moment of locking eyes and connecting as they savor the intense pleasure of good chocolate. It is like a little bit of mindfulness in a busy, thinking-filled day.. It brings people crashing into the now. This little moment in time is what drives my passion and is what I wake up for day in and day out.
What is this???
Why does it happen???
It’s no secret that chocolate is a wide spread addiction. We find ourselves craving it when we are stressed out, happy, sad, or even just bored- it’s not a coincidence that its scientific name, Theobroma Cacao, from the Greek translates to “food of the gods.” (1)
But why is this?
To start, chocolate is delicious.
Our senses are sent into bliss from it- it smells good, tastes good, and even feels good melting in your mouth! These wonderful feelings result in our feel-good neurotransmitters being released in the brain, the same ones that are released when you experience anything you enjoy, such as sex or playing your favorite sport. Our brains remember this wonderful feeling and desire it at many points because of the wonderful memory associated with the chemical release (dopamine, serotonin, etc.) we are given when we ingest it. (2)
An interview with psychology and neuroscience professor, Dr.Amy Jo Stavnezer, explains this in further detail, along with various other scientists and doctors answering common questions about chocolate cravings.
Chocolate also contains certain alkaloids that can aid in our cravings, such as theobromine, which can raise heart rate and give similar effects to that of caffeine. Theobromine is the active ingredient in chocolate and occurs only in the cacao plant. The darker the chocolate the more theobromine! This stimulant has a similar structure to caffeine though they are different chemicals with very different properties. Theobromine can have many health benefits such as cough relief in asthmatics, heart benefits, and is even considered an aphrodisiac because of its ability to open blood vessels! (3)
#Hooray for dark Chocolate!!
So in conclusion: Why do we LOVE chocolate? Because it tastes good and it makes us feel good..
I love my job. <3