If you need one, to enjoy the sweet treat. But it’s not just about indulging, as research has shown some chocolate can be healthy and can even improve your mood.
Milk chocolate, white or dark, ice cream, cake, cookies, candy bars — the choices are endless. But research has shown there is one kind that can make you less depressed.
If you want something more than a sweet treat, dark chocolate can have several benefits, including improved cognitive function, circulation, immune response, and even a mood boost.
A recent study on chocolate and depression looked at data of more than 13,000 adults who took part in a national health and nutrition survey.
“People consuming dark chocolate — it reduced the risk of depression or had a 70% lower risk of looking depressed on the scales that they used,” said Dr. Scott Bea, with the Cleveland Clinic.
Researchers found when people reported eating chocolate, only those who ate dark chocolate had significantly lower rates of depressive symptoms.
Dark chocolate has a high concentration of cacao, an antioxidant that lowers inflammation.
Researchers say it’s not really clear if it’s the ingredients in dark chocolate that make us less depressed or if happy people gravitate toward dark chocolate.
Beyond the science, eating chocolate, any kind, is just fun.
“There aren’t too many people that said, ‘I had a really bad time consuming chocolate last night,’ so there may be something to the general pleasurable experience,” Bea said.
That pleasure comes with some calories — starting at about 200 for a basic chocolate bar.