Chocolate: What Makes It So Delicious & Why Do We Find It So Irresistible?
Chocolate is one of the most popular desserts in the world, so why do we love it so much? Well, it's rich, smooth, and melts in your mouth. But what makes chocolate so irresistible? Part of the answer lies in its chemistry.
Our tiny friend the cocoa bean forms the foundation for chocolate. These little guys contain a number of compounds known to have mood-boosting effects. For instance, chocolate contains small amounts of caffeine and theobromine, both of which are responsible for promoting alertness and focus. As well as keeping us awake, theobromine also stimulates the heart – that explains why we can feel weak at the knees at the mere sight of chocolate!
Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, a compound that is thought to stimulate pleasure centres in the brain associated with happiness and love. Basically, chocolate isn't just delicious; it's scientifically proven to make us happy. The sugar and fat found in chocolate also give us a temporary boost of energy. A small price to pay when you’ve hit that mid-afternoon slump!
As well as giving us a rush, chocolate desserts also have health benefits. Dark chocolate in particular is packed with anti-oxidants and can help improve cholesterol, lower blood pressure and even reduce your chances of developing cancer. Chocolate also contains flavonoids, which have been linked to lower rates of heart disease. Additionally, chocolate can improve blood flow and help prevent blood clots. So, next time you're looking for a healthy and delicious treat, reach for the chocolate shelf!
It’s not just your body that can benefit health wise; chocolate can also improve cognitive function and reduce stress levels, leading to a better mood and improved sense of wellbeing. Forget ice cream when you’re feeling down, opt for chocolate cake instead! You’ll be glad you did!
Chocolate is also one of the most versatile ingredients in the dessert world meaning there are so many different ways to enjoy it! Choose from chocolate boxes to biscuits, steaming hot chocolate to frozen ice cream, dense chocolate cake to soft mousse. And, of course, no dessert would be complete without a generous drizzle of chocolate sauce. Whether you prefer your chocolate dark or milk, there's a dessert to suit any place, taste and time!
So what makes chocolate so hard to turn down? It’s no wonder we find it irresistible when humans are hard-wired to get a thrill from it and with all the added health benefits, there’s no reason to say no! Next time you plunge your spoon into a rich and gooey chocolate cheesecake, remember that you're tantalising more than just your taste buds. Your brain is getting a little boost of happiness, while your heart falls head over heels! And with so many ways to enjoy chocolate, what’s not to love?