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Effects of chocolate (anandamide) on mood - Research Paper Example

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Effects of Chocolate (Anandamide) on Mood Name Institution Abstract When people are sad and stressed, they usually resort to chocolate. There has been a lot of talk about the “happy and good feeling” experienced after eating chocolate. Thus, it is interesting to find out the chemical compositions of chocolate and how they can make us feel pleasurable by affecting our brain…
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Effects of chocolate (anandamide) on mood

Download file to see previous pages... Filters were used to filter out certain article types such as in vitro studies, animal studies and human clinical studies. From the in vitro studies, anandamide activates cannabinoid receptors which then stimulates dopamine release. Evidently, dopamine acts as a neurotransmitter stimulates the brain’s pleasure center to control the generation of pleasure and helps to regulate emotion. The animal studies also showed that anandamide acts on the animals’ endocannabinoid system which is involved in emotional control. On the other hand, both observational studies and human clinical studies generally showed that people eating chocolate have elevated mood and positive emotion. From the results, we can conclude that anandamide found in chocolate is one of the chemicals responsible for the elevated mood bring by eating chocolate. However, there are over 300 chemicals found in chocolate, there may be other chemicals involved in the pleasurable feeling experienced after eating chocolate. More research on chocolate is needed. Introduction Chocolate has been commonly referred to as an aphrodisiac and psychoactive food. To this end, the cocoa plant is the natural parent derivative of the ultimate end product that is chocolate. The cocoa bean is a constituent seed of a tropical tree known as Theobroma cacao (Afoakwa, 2010). Evidently, chocolate is attributed as having a varied number of uses from the ancient to contemporary periods. For example, the ancient Aztec community used the cacao beans in preparing a steamy and thick beverage that had significant restorative and stimulant properties. According to nutrition researchers such as Michael Levine, chocolate is among the perfect foods in the world. Moreover, chocolate is credited with having positive effects on an individual’s body and heart. However, it is critical to note that dark chocolate is the major beneficial variety. This is because it contains a high amount of cocoa, and relatively low levels of cocoa butter (Becket, 2008). In contrast, the other varieties of white and milk chocolates contain low amounts of cocoa but high amount of cocoa butter. Apparently, the white and milk chocolate varieties constitute the most commercially sold and popular varieties among consumers. To this end, most people are fooled into thinking that the white and milk varieties exhibit significant health benefits. On the contrary, only the dark chocolate poses significant health benefits. Evidently, the dark chocolate variety possesses cardioprotective properties due to the presence of phenolic phytochemicals and flavonoids (Ruiz et al. 2000). The flavonoids exhibit defensive properties on the heart by maximizing endothelial functions, minizing oxidation, lowering hypertension, and minimizing the risk of blood clots Vizi, & Lajtha, 2008). Consequently, the likelihood of heart disease is minimized. Moreover, dark chocolate is associated with vital minerals such as magnesium that aids in the proper functioning of organs in the body. There is an undeniable feeling of sensual and euphoric pleasure that is produced after consumption of chocolate. To this end, research on the chemical components of chocolate have been conducted to identify the casual agents of the elevated mood. Evidently, chocolate contains a concoction of bioactive compounds that result to ‘ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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