Does dark chocolate really help improve our mood?

Biology / 5 min read / 5 October 2021

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Lazy Science Reader,

We all know that no matter what, whenever it comes to our mood, the solution is always said to be dark chocolate. Sad? Have dark chocolate. Happy? Have some dark chocolate. Period cramps- here, the dark chocolate will minimize the pain. EVERYTHING. Literally everything narrows down to dark chocolate. But what’s the science behind it? Does it mess with our hormones, does it really contain necessary nutrients……all these questions were pondered upon by us and here’s an article on it. Let’s begin now.

We’ll start with the history of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate was first made around the 1900 BC- yeah, that far back, as a drink in South and Central America. It was derived from a tree called Theobroma cacao which is also called the cocoa tree. It belongs to the kingdom plantae, genus Theobroma, family Malvaceae, and clade Angiosperms. Later, a bitter beverage using dark chocolate was made by the Mayans and Aztecs (civilizations) for medical and ceremonial purposes. Later, the Spanish stumbled upon it and then passed it on to Europe and then BOOM, honey and sugar was added to make it sweet. Since then, dark chocolate has been everybody’s favorite.

Let’s talk about its contents now. Several sites and articles based on chocolate have different opinions on the content of dark chocolate but here’s what Wikipedia has to say: ‘Nutrients in dark chocolate include 46% carbohydrates, 43% fats, 8% protein, and 1% water. In a 100-gram (3+1⁄2-ounce) reference serving, dark chocolate provides 2,500 kilojoules (600 kilocalories) of food energy and is a rich source (defined as more than 20% of the Daily value, DV) of several dietary minerals, such as iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. It also contains moderate amount of vitamin B12.’

Dark chocolate as we know contains cocoa which in turn contains caffeine. Yes, the one which keeps us up all night. As we know, caffeine can have a lot of side effects. They can cause sleeping problems, increased urination, discomfort, nausea, gas and maybe some skin allergic reactions. Cocoa, along with tea, grapes and wine contain a compound called flavanol. Dark chocolate rich in flavanol (based on research) has actually been said to improve the heart. How, you might ask. Flavanol aids the production of nitric oxide in the inner lining of the blood vessels and they help the vessels to relax. This helps in improving blood flow henceforth lowering blood pressure. Dark chocolate also boosts production of endorphins. They are hormones which make us feel good. They give us the feeling of euphoria.

Lastly, we would like to end this article covering the relation between dark chocolate and menstrual cramps. Some say it’s a misconception, some don’t. Let’s look at those who give scientific proof. We discussed the content of dark chocolate earlier in this article, it’s a source of magnesium. If you don’t know, magnesium is a well-known pain reliever. When cramps formulate tension in the uterus muscles, magnesium helps to sooth them (research based). Throughout this article, we talked about some bad effects of dark chocolate and several good ones. One should know that even though dark chocolate has a lot of good effects, too much of anything is said to be bad. It is always preferred to take dark chocolate which has 70% cocoa and read the contents before buying.

More articles from Lazy Science Reader are just round the corner.


  • Cote d’Ivoire is the biggest producer of cocoa beans with Ghana being the second
  • The Guinness World Reocrd for the biggest chocolate bar has been broken by Armenia made by the Grand Candy Company with the bar weighing 4410 kg
  • White chocolate barely contains any cocoa
  • Chocolate has a melting point of 93 degrees Farenheit
  • The civilizations Aztecs and Mayans used chocolate as a currency as well