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Things to blame chocolate cravings on….

Excuse #1: Gut Microbes Swiss researchers at the Nestle Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, recruited men – some who craved chocolate and some reportedly indifferent to its charms – then fed them all the same diets for five days. Urinary analyses found that the chocolate-lovers had a distinctly recognizable metabolic profile that involved gut microbe differences, low levels of LDL cholesterol, and marginally elevated levels of the beneficial protein albumin. This profile was identified even when they ate no chocolate.

Excuse #2: Phenylethylamine
This chemical compound, classified as an amino acid (protein building block), increases blood pressure, raises heart rate, and increases sensitivity. Boston Globe science writer Chet Raymo calls it “a kind of mini sexual climax”. And, chocolate is full of this, and other brain-active substances. PEA, as it’s called, mimics the brain chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine, which may be why a couple of squares of Scharffen Berger can make you feel less depressed ….

…..and if it does…. Excuse #3: You May Be Neurotic, and you’re not alone An Australian study just published in the British Journal of Psychiatry surveyed 3,000 people and the relationship between depression and personality, and chocolate craving. They found that significant levels of irritability and sensitivity to rejection, and also the traits of anxious worry, self-criticism and neurotic self-focus predicted who had chocolate cravings. Just as interesting, those people who had these personality traits felt that chocolate would soothe their moods and make them feel better. But, you already knew that.

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