Sunday, November 18, 2012
What is it about the sound of the name?
Even hearing it whispered makes you feel good.
It releases neurotransmitters. We can take it quite literally when we hear that we have "chocolate on the brain."
So, what does it do?
Let's start with endorphins. These little babies are natural pain and stress fighters. It seems that eating chocolate releases endorphins. Hmmm...so far so good.
Serotonin. It seems that chocolate (semi-sweet or dark) releases and increases levels of serotonin. This is a neurotransmitter that works to regulate mood, sleep arousal and pain. Hmmm....again....the higher the serotonin level the happier we are. I can tell you that I'm VERY happy when eating chocolate. The downside? Can't drink milk with our little pieces of chocolate, or as I prefer, enveloped in a nice cookie. OK...I can live with that.
Phenylethylamine. Commonly known as PEA. It's a chemical that makes you feel happy. OK..I'm with them on that. It seems that chocolate is loaded with it. It also has a half life of 5 to 10 minutes so it stands to reason that we should shove as much as possible as quickly as possible!! It's also called the love drug because we experience the same feeling.....
Anandamide. It is a lipid that it very similar to THC. THC is a chemical found in marijuana. Anandamide and THC both activate the same receptor that gives us a feeling of well being. Didn't we feel like that in college?? Anyway, I feel very happy with chocolate.
One thing about chocolate.
It contains a chemical called theombrine. While it is mildly diuretic and similar to caffeine, IT IS TOXIC AND POTENTIALLY FATAL TO DOGS. Their heart and central nervous system can be compromised. They don't metabolize it as quickly as their humans.
So, other than that, it sounds pretty good to me. Plus, it melts in your mouth, not in your hands. Actually, when I eat chocolate I feel comforted and loved. Amazing, isn't it? The power of a little morsel of yum.
When you're always in pain a little chocolate sounds like a plan.
Years ago, a friend of mine got me a little bear that I called "Sid."
Sid said one phrase......
"I LOVE chocolate."
He knew me well.