Did you eat a lot of dark chocolate this Easter? Consider yourself absolved. A new study shows that the antioxidant polyphenol in dark chocolate may make you feel calmer and more content.
Researchers at the Swinburne University of Technology in Australia tested their theory on 72 healthy, middle-aged men and women. The participants who were fed a dark chocolate drink with 500 mg of polyphenols every day for 30 days reported an improvement in mood and feelings of calmness and contentedness. Participants who were fed a smaller dose or no polyphenols did not experience these effects.
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The study’s lead author, Matthew Pase, explained: “Anecdotally, chocolate is often linked to mood enhancement…this clinical trial was perhaps one of the first to scientifically demonstrate the positive effects of cocoa polyphenols on mood.”