Why We Like Chocolates?
The taste of chocolates travels long from bitter tasted extract of cacao beans liquid drink to sweet milk chocolate bar. To know what makes chocolates an all time favourite let's explore its chemistry.
Ingredients of chocolates
As we all know a pure chocolate bar is made of seeds of the cacao tree. Some more items are also combined together to develop the flavour of a good chocolate bar such as coca butter which makes it smooth and glossy while skimmed milk powder or condensed milk is added to it to give it a sweet taste. To add richness of taste, nuts, peanuts and mint are also included. Other ingredients are milk fat, emulsifier and soya lecithin.
A average bar has about 7.3g protein, 58.0g of carbohydrate of which sugar is 57.0g, 29.5g of fat, 2.1g of fibre and 0.25g of salt. Your chocolate bar may slightly vary from above information (see the back of the wrapper for exact info).
Why does chocolate elevate our mood?
Doesn't it surprise you that your favourite bar has a direct effect on your mood? A combination of about 300 components elevates your mood. Let's see how it happens by taking an example.
Suppose in a school the principal wants students to be in the classroom before 7:45am. For this the principal will put up a notice or send messengers.
In the same way our brain has a network of messengers known as neurotransmitters. When the brain orders your body to laugh, cry or to relax, etc. it sends messengers to pass the signals of corresponding orders to nerve cells.
There is a messenger in brain known as serotonin which transmits signals of jubilation to our body. The brain needs a chemical known as tryptophan to produce serotonin.
A standard chocolate bar has this component called tryptophan. This helps the brain to produce serotonin in high levels; therefore we feel happy after eating our chocolate bar. In an article published on BBC's website this component is called the "love drug" because it generates the same feelings as when someone is in love.
Let's see how we feel good when we eat chocolates.
A glass of water remains cool until it has ice in it. When ice starts melting the water gradually becomes hot. Slower the melting slower will be the processes of warming water.
In the same way chocolate slows the breaking of anandimide, messenger for producing pleasure, attraction and excitement.
It remains in the brain cell for a longer time hence it makes one feel good for a longer time.
Experts say that the presence of a component theo bromine may kill animals such as dog and horse, so be careful not to offer chocolate to your pet.
At the end I must remind you that excess of everything is dangerous.
Eating in balance is good for you otherwise it will lead the way to sugar related problems such as diabetics, obesity etc.