Valentine’s Day is often associated with purchasing delicious confections for your sweetheart, but the connection between love and one particular treat may be more than superficial. Studies say that dark chocolate stimulates the brain in similar ways to love.
A neurotransmitter called PEA is found in small quantities in cocoa beans used to produce chocolate. The chemical causes a rise in the pulse rate and a release of endorphins similar to the butterflies a person feels when in love. Perhaps because of this, the popularity of dark chocolate is increasing.
“Twenty-five or thirty years ago, (owner Mike Kobasic) bought 1,500 pounds of dark chocolate a year, and now Mike is buying 15,000 pounds of chocolate a year,” said Mary Jane Gauthier, manager of the Marquette Township Sayklly’s Confectionery & Gifts store. “So, it’s really been popular, and that’s because they say it’s healthier for you, people just like the taste of it, and I guess it just makes you feel good.”
Those looking to give some love through dark chocolate can find it in many forms, from turtles to caramels and fudge or even something a bit more unique.
“You can even buy chocolate roses so you have your flowers, you have your chocolate. Everybody’s happy. Show your love,” Gauthier added.
In addition to stimulating romance, studies say dark chocolate can be good for your heart, brain and even tooth enamel. As with any sort of tasty treat, dark chocolate is best enjoyed in moderation.