Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society, has released a new Bytesize Science video featuring five chemistry facts that highlight why chocolate, in moderation, may be good for you.
The video explains how a bar of chocolate contains hundreds of compounds, many with beneficial properties. Among the video’s “sweet” facts:
- Chocolate may improve your mood, and not just because of its delicious flavor. Chocolate contains a number of chemicals that inhibit the breakdown of the neurotransmitter anandamide – sometimes called “the molecule of bliss” – which can block feelings of pain and depression.
- Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, stimulants that can provide a burst of energy.
- According to an article from the ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the naturally occurring polyphenols in cocoa – the key ingredient in chocolate – boost levels of HDL, commonly known as the “good cholesterol.”
- Chocolate may reduce stroke risk in men.
- A little dark chocolate may reduce stress.