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Last Updated: Oct 11, 2019

How Dark Chocolate Can Reduce Depression?

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Dr. Prerna KohliPsychologist • 38 Years Exp.PhD, MPhil, MA - Clinical Psychology, BA - Psychology
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A gift to someone or oneself, chocolate always brings a smile to the face, it is also well associated with cravings, enjoyment, pleasure, and feelings of nostalgia from childhood.

Chocolate comes in different flavors but to indulge in the right kind, is the decision one has to make to get the health benefits. Chocolate with a high concentration of cocoa makes the chocolate darker helps gain health benefits.

Incorporating a piece of dark chocolate in one’s lifestyle gives various nutrimental benefits in iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc. Dark chocolate is also known for its health benefits for improving metabolism and reducing stress, lowering the risk of developing heart disease, improving blood flow and lower blood pressure. Studies have now found a link between dark chocolate consumption and improving depression.

A recent research study has found eating dark chocolate may positively affect mood and help relieve depression symptoms. Depression is a very common mental health issue affecting more than 300 million population worldwide according to statistics by the World Health Organisation.

Depression encompasses the following symptoms:

1. Depressed mood

2. Diminished of interest/pleasure

3. Weight gain/weight loss

4. Fatigue/loss of energy

5. Feelings of worthlessness, excessive guilt

6. Trouble concentrating

7. Recurrent thoughts of death

8. Reduced physical movements

Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidant in the body helping improve inflammatory properties, which have been shown to play a role in the onset of depression. How dark chocolate helps lessen depression can be seen in its psychoactive ingredients like phenylethylamine and theobromine-stimulants, creating a feeling of euphoria and help reduce symptoms of fatigue and low energy in depression.


Tryptophan in dark chocolate produces serotonin, the happy hormone of the body. Cocoa which makes the chocolate darker contains flavanol, helping to regulate the mood and even depression. Consumption of a small amount of dark chocolate daily helps improve memory and attention, reducing trouble concentrating in depression. Dark chocolate is also seen to soothe cramps and mood swings while on periods in women.

Indulging in a good quality of concentrated dark chocolate helps reduce depression, it should definitely be included in one’s diet to help uplift the mood. While dark chocolate helps reduce depression it cannot abolish the need for therapy, to say the least

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