Phillip Minton M.D.

The Feel Good SuperFood

In chocolate on June 12, 2011 at 10:31 am

Consuming food makes us feel good. As the satiety centers of our brain are stimulated, we develop a sense of well-being and comfort. This is true for babies as they take milk, for teens enjoying a pizza, and for anyone consuming chocolate. Chocolate products seem to stimulate our “feel good” centers more than do most foods. Why? Probably because chocolate not only contains the nutrients that would normally set off our brains satiety center, but also contains drug-like natural compounds which additionally stimulate multiple pleasure centers in the brain.

Chocolate stimulates these additional brain pleasure centers because of the natural “drugs” it contains such as anandamide, phenylethylamine, caffeine and theobromine. Chocolate, Healthfood of the Gods goes over these “drugs” in great detail, but for now suffice it to say that they work together to make us feel happy and satisfied when we consume chocolate. They lift the spirits, energize and comfort us.

Anandamide is an amazingly powerful substance found naturally in cocoa. It is one of the most powerful psychoactive substances found in any normally consumed food. It acts directly on the pleasure centers of the brain to produce a sensation of “internal bliss.” This natural chemical can be produced directly by our brains as well and helps to set our mood, appetite, memory functions and perceptions of pain. It is powerful indeed, especially combined with the other psychoactive substances found naturally in cocoa.

Chocolate, the ultimate superfood because of its nutrients, is also the “feel good” superfood because of the array of bliss-inducing chemicals found naturally within it.

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