February isn’t the month of love for everyone. Many people find themselves celebrating Singles Awareness Day (S.A.D.) instead of planning romantic dates with their sweeties. Though you may be currently unattached, there’s no reason to mope. Chocolates and flowers aren’t just for lovers. If you’re feeling down this holiday season, chocolates may be the perfect cure.
Chemical compounds in chocolate
Your little heart-shaped, foil-wrapped delight may seem like a simple pleasure, but it turns out that chocolate is extremely complex. America’s favorite sweet treat is made up of hundreds of compounds that work together to create a delightfully euphoric experience.
There are three compounds in chocolate that may be responsible for crazy chocolate cravings and the feeling of happiness you experience when you indulge.
- Caffeine – Caffeine excites the central nervous system and works on the production of pleasure chemicals, adenosine and dopamine.
- Cannabinoid – This compound is chemically similar to the THC found in marijuana. Cannabinoid works on the receptors in your frontal cortex that create an intoxicated and relaxed feeling.
- Phenylethylamine – Some like to refer to this compound as the “love drug.” This chemical is found in high levels in people that are in love.
With so many pleasure-inducing chemical compounds, you might expect chocolate to be treated less like a national treasure and more like its narcotic brethren, but the reality is that these chemicals are found in very small amounts. One chocolate truffle may boost your happiness slightly, but doesn’t pack enough punch to truly alter your state of mind.
The psychology of chocolate
Some of chocolate’s effects are more psychological than chemical. To put it simply, chocolate tastes really good. It smells good, it looks shiny and smooth, and it feels silky and delicious in your mouth. Everything about the chocolate experience is inviting, and we have learned to associate it with happiness. The cocoa butter found in your favorite treat literally turns from its solid state to its liquid state at mouth temperature creating that sinful melt-in-your-mouth effect.
If you find yourself dateless and a little bitter about it, indulge in something sweet. There’s no shame in picking up a box of chocolates for yourself, or spreading the love by purchasing some for a friend. You and your single pals will find that your Valentine’s
Day is a little less blue when you add a little more chocolate. At Wockenfuss Candies, we want to create the perfect Valentine’s Day experience for couples and singles alike. Stop by one of our locations to browse our selection of Valentine Chocolates.
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