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Thread: The truth about chocolate

  1. #1
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    Exclamation The truth about chocolate



    In the last few days, I've indulged a bit too much on chocolate, and I have noticed strong behavioural changes in myself. I suddenly became obsssed by reading or learning (Japanese) hours on end (I mean, more than usual), and more worrying, I got strange emotional reaction, such as being overexcited (like a child), having headaches, nighymares or sudden access of really bad mood where I wanted to kick walls for no reasons or got irritated by the slightest thing. These are all extremely unusual for me (except when I was a child and ate a lot of chocolate !). I am normally more composed and self-contolled than most people around me (yes, Japanese people !).

    This is not the first time I have doubts about the effects of chocolate on the mood, but I had never taken the time to research it before. I've found some very interesting explantions on mood change due to chocolate on About.com. Basically, chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA, a kind of amphetamine) and theobromine (i.e. caffeine) that act powerfully on the mind. Check also
    this page.

    For more scientific explanations on chocolate check
    http://www.chocolate.org/index.html

    For those still doubting that chocolate is a real drug :

    It is related to cannabis
    Chocolate contains small quantities of anandamide, an endogenous cannabinoid found in the brain.
    to opium
    Like other palatable sweet foods, consumption of chocolate causes the release of endorphins, the body's endogenous opiates. Enhanced endorphin-release reduces the chocolate-eater's sensitivity to pain. Endorphins probably contribute to the warm inner glow induced in susceptible chocaholics.
    and to amphetamines
    Phenylethylamine is a chemical in the body that is similar to an amphetamine.


    Anyway, that may be the answer to my mood changes. My brain is probably too sensitive to stimulants in chocolate :

    The amphetamine-like nature of phenylethylamine is responsible for mood swings. As with amphetamines, phenylethylamine may cause an initial lift in the mood, followed by a crash in mood a short while later.
    The article has convincing links between headaches and chocolate consumption. 3 substances are guilty : phenylethylamine, theobromine and tyramine :

    It is believed that phenylethylamine causes blood vessels to dilate in the brain, thereby causing headaches.
    Although theobromine is a weaker stimulant than caffeine, it can increase the pulse rate. Withdrawal from theobromine may cause migraines.
    Tyramine is another amino acid which causes blood vessels to expand and contract, resulting in dull headaches.
    As I never drink coffee, that might explain my hypersensitivity. An aspirin, however, stops the migraine within 15min ! (if I work too hard or lack of sleep, aspirin has no effect at all on me).

    I found their conclusion very true :

    To Indulge or Not to Indulge . . .

    With all this contradictory information about the chemicals in chocolate, you probably have no idea whether or not to eat it. As with most substances, you have to figure out how it affects you and you alone. You might find that you can eat a small amount of chocolate with no effects, but larger amounts cause noticeable changes in mood. It's really a matter of experimentation. However, when I look at the above information, I see that the ingredients in chocolate can possibly cause headaches, heartburn, restlessness, insomnia, mood changes, higher pulse rate, and anxiety. On a personal level, I've found this to be true. And I've found that eliminating chocolate has helped me. Only you can decide what's best for you.



    By the way, did you know that chocolate is very toxic for dogs and can kill them. Numbers od people have killed their pets by not knowing that and giving them chocolate. Just make a search entering "chocolate toxic dog" to see the number of articles about it. For example :

    http://vetmedicine.about.com/library.../aa020900a.htm
    http://www.dogbreederonline.com/chocolate.htm
    http://www.irishterriers.com/welcome.htm?chocolate.htm

    And you, are you chocaholic ? Does it affect your mood or gives you headaches ? Ever thought about it before ?
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    I don't drink coffee either, but i eat chocolate on a daily basis. Can't say it affects me much, but then again i might just not be aware of it. I do have occasional headaches, but that's usually due to a lack of sleep.

    I suppose i have to test it to see what happens when i eat more chocolate then usual.

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    Isn't phenylethylamine in Diet Coke? Geez... that explains a lot. :)
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    I've read that endorphins are released after consumption of

    - certain fruits (in particular bananas)
    - any kind of roasted food: french fries, deep-fried stuff, coffee
    - food that contains large amounts of sugar (chocolate)

    Simply put: it's the endorphins that make us feel well by enhancing the immune system and by relieving stress and pain. Somehow the release of endorphins is related to our exposure to sunlight. Thus, it's just natural our bodies crave for sweets in winter. Something like that...

    ;)

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    Originally posted by thomas
    I've read that endorphins are released after consumption of

    - certain fruits (in particular bananas)
    - any kind of roasted food: french fries, deep-fried stuff, coffee
    - food that contains large amounts of sugar (chocolate)
    Err... apart from the coffee, you just described my daily diet.

    No wonder the people around me find it odd that i never worry about anything. :)

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    Ugh, the smartypants that I am I mixed up endorphins and serotonine! While endorphins are stress- and pain-relieving, it is serotonine that's contained in the food I mentioned above. Serotonine has a similar effect though, making us feel well.

    I couldn't live without coffee. :)
    Last edited by thomas; 26-12-02 at 14:34.

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    Er, I thought chocolate only makes you feel loved and happy? No? I get that all the time when I eat chocolate. I tend to smile all day too. My favorite breakfast is a bar of swiss chocolate with a cup of black coffee.

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    I have the same reaction as you, Rosie. I never wonder about whether to eat chocolate. There are some days it's just necessary.

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    Certainly! Especially when you're most vulnerable, and there's no one to hug, kiss, love you? I've been there, Haivart. And thesedays I just head straight to the fridge and have a chocolate fiesta all by myself when I feel unhappy and unloved.

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    Originally posted by Rosie
    Er, I thought chocolate only makes you feel loved and happy? No? I get that all the time when I eat chocolate. I tend to smile all day too. My favorite breakfast is a bar of swiss chocolate with a cup of black coffee.
    You are totally right, but that's like alcohol or drugs, after you pay for it (hangover, dependance, bad feeling because of the lack of it, etc.). Obviously, chocolate is not as strong as cocaine or heroine, but it does have a similar effect on the body, and that's what I was explaining.

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    The only effect I experience is weight gain. That's why I workout like crazy; brisk walk on the treadmill for an hour, and pilates for another hour....

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    It's strange, but I don't get any noticiable reactions to chocolate or coffee. I LOOOOVe both, but I never use coffee for extra energy like most of my friends do - it just doesn't do anything for me.
    it's been 4 months with no coffee and no chocolate... I am craving a long black and a chocolate mud cake YUMMM ;)

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    Maybe you should try something more concentrated. Dark Chocolate with black coffee. There's also a posibility that you may have more noticeable reactions from other kinds of food.;) Speaking about coffee, I need to replenish some this weekend...Oh, have you tried Sumatran coffee? It's awesome. It's has been my favorite for a long, long time.

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    Maybe you should try something more concentrated. Dark Chocolate with black coffee. There's also a posibility that you may have more noticeable reactions from other kinds of food.;)

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    Maybe you should try something more concentrated. Dark Chocolate with black coffee. There's also a posibility that you may have more noticeable reactions from other kinds of food.;) Speaking about coffee, I need to replenish some this weekend...Oh, have you tried Sumatran coffee? It's awesome. It's has been my favorite for a long, long time.

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    Maybe you should try something more concentrated. Dark Chocolate with black coffee. There's also a posibility that you may have more noticeable reactions from other kinds of food.;) Speaking about coffee, I need to replenish some this weekend...Oh, have you tried Sumatran coffee? It's awesome. It's has been my favorite for a long, long time.

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    Oh, bloody hell! I've must be getting old....I keep repeating myself.

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    I heard this over news on TV: dark chocolate helps to lower blood pressure.

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    I'm not sure I have tried Sumatran coffee.... but I love trying new coffees so I definately will, when I'm allowed to drink coffee again
    The last few days I have been craving my Mum's chocolate self saucing pudding.... yumm *drool*

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    YUMMMM Starb8ucks white chocolate moca cappichino .........

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    Oh, I love that too! But I can't have that too often: my ass expands everytime I have a cup. Another favorite: Cafe Mocha Valencia. I have to work extremely hard on the treadmill and yoga mat before I allow myself a serving of that. You can make your own cup of sumatran coffee, if you have a coffee maker, that is. Sumatran coffee is available in both Starbucks and Peets. You can get 1/2 pound just to try it out. Don't forget to use cold water when you make the coffee. ;)

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    Heheheh I am terrible... I get my coffee delivered LOL... I have a standing order at Gevalia and I get a shipment every month (Is'nt that bad) Usually I get a white chocolate, Dark roast and a vanilla bean and mix my own LOL ...Sometimes it gets rough being a coffee and chocolate freak....As for working it off I have a 4 yr old boy :)

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    hahaha...I want coffee delivered that means I would never have to leave the house
    Tuck Me In...

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    Well, both starbucks and peets deliver coffee...anyway, I almost signed up for Gevalia's delivery service. But I decided not to since they don't provide Sumatran coffee. So guys, it's quality and not convenience, for me. ;) ;) ;)

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    Originally posted by nzueda
    I'm not sure I have tried Sumatran coffee.... but I love trying new coffees so I definately will, when I'm allowed to drink coffee again
    The last few days I have been craving my Mum's chocolate self saucing pudding.... yumm *drool*
    Er...what happened to you?

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