by challenger news staff writer
With emotions running high since COVID-19 made its way into mandating our every move, covering our smiles with masks, our hands with gloves and intercepting our freedom to flow with a new practice of social distancing from strangers and those we know and love, its’ no wonder some are feeling discouraged, down and battling hints of frustration and depression. It may sound odd to suggest at a time like this but there’s a way out of the gloominess during this crisis and it tastes pretty good. Eat Dark Chocolate!
Some research shows dark chocolate that is 70% cacao or higher even more pure dark percentages like 80-100% (the kind that tastes more bitter than sweet) can give your brain, eyes and immune system a serious boost and can naturally help prevent depression and the decline in cognitive func-tion especially in response to stress.
Generally, the darker the chocolate, the greater the health benefits; dark chocolate contains higher levels of flavonoids, which are a class of antioxidants that can protect our cells from damage and reduce inflammation another contributor to depression.
Most are familiar with chocolate and it’s “feel-good” effect but that’s not a myth that it goes to your head. It also contains phenylethylamine, a neuromodulator which triggers the release of what are known as pleasure endorphins like dopamine a neurochemical associated with pleasure and maintaining a good mood.
It also contains substances like anandamide a fatty substance naturally made in the brain that binds to receptors the same way THC does producing feelings of exhilaration.
Dark chocolate contains polyphenols that have shown to have a positive effect on a person’s mood. If you decide to partake in dark chocolate be sure it does not contain milk and is a minimum 70% cacao.
And “stay woke,” When shopping for dark chocolate, try to shop for and choose ethical chocolate brands that are not associated with child or slave labor. Brands that are associated with non-slave labor like Alter-Eco, Divine, Endangered Species, Theo, (you can find these chocolates and others like them at the Lexington & Hertel Co-Op. Whole Foods or Feel Rite.)
More Mood Lifting Supplements And Foods If You Can’t Eat Chocolate
Vitamin D preferably via sunshine and secondarily via supplements. B-12, Omega Fatty Acids. Fruits: bananas, apples, berries, oranges, tomatoes, cantaloupe, peaches, chickpeas, broccoli, carrots, collards, spinach sweet potato nuts especially almonds and brazil nuts, seeds.