Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society, released a new Bytesize Science video today featuring chemistry facts that highlight why chocolate, in moderation, may be good for you.
The video explains how a bar of chocolate contains hundreds of compounds, many with beneficial properties. Among the video’s “sweet” facts:
Chocolate may improve your mood, and not just because of its delicious flavor. Chocolate contains a number of chemicals that inhibit the breakdown of the neurotransmitter anandamide — sometimes called “the molecule of bliss” — which can block feelings of pain and depression.
Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, stimulants that can provide a burst of energy.
According to an article from the ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the naturally occurring polyphenols in cocoa ― the key ingredient in chocolate ― boost levels of HDL, commonly known as the “good cholesterol.”