Vine Ripe Nutrition Logo

A Fresh Approach to Eating

Chocolate Happiness

Let’s talk about chocolate happiness. Why is it that we love chocolate so much? Is it the taste? Texture? Or does it go much deeper than that? Let’s discuss some of the reasons why chocolate makes you happy. Besides the taste, of course.

Chocolate Benefits for Mood

What chemical in chocolate makes you happy? There may be several involved.

Many of us feel euphoric when we eat, possibly due to a chemical called phenylethylamine (PEA) in chocolate. This chemical helps release the brain chemical dopamine, which is associated with the pleasure part of the brain. You might think of this as a chocolate dopamine uplift in your mood and a calming feeling.

In addition to the good feeling it provides, chocolate also contains health-promoting plant chemicals called polyphenols, which benefit our hearts. Flavonoids are one of these polyphenols. Which chocolate has the highest flavonoids? The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the higher the flavanol content. Chocolate is rich in magnesium, copper, potassium, and manganese. It is one of the biggest contributors of copper to the American diet!

How much magnesium is in dark chocolate?

One ounce of chocolate contains 64 milligrams of magnesium, about 20 % of the daily intake.

Some other things you might not know about chocolate include that it contains a caffeine-like chemical called theobromine. The fat in cocoa butter is very high in healthy polyunsaturated oleic acid and a saturated fat called stearic acid, which can have a neutral effect on blood cholesterol.

We all know that too many chocolate desserts and candies can contribute to excess calories, and the excess sugar in desserts can elevate blood sugar in people with diabetes. But eaten in moderation, chocolate can be a healthy part of our diet.

Chocolate Makes You Happy and Ways to Get It

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite ways to get chocolate! Chocolate can be a healthy food in meal planning but remember to eat it mindfully, a little bit goes a long way!

One of my favorite places to get some handcrafted chocolate in Asheville, NC, is French Broad Chocolate Lounge. A visit there is the ultimate chocolate experience. For people living out of town, chocolate can be ordered online for delivery. There are several specialty truffle boxes available.

Because it is getting close to Valentine’s Day, I decided to purchase the Aphrodisiac Collection, which includes an Indian Kulfi Truffle with a touch of cardamon with milk chocolate and a Cosmic Love Potion Truffle, which contains some white chocolate and rose petals. These are two of my favorites, although I have never met a French Broad truffle I did not love, in addition to the exceptional chocolate and creative combinations. Jael and Dan work hard to source ethical ingredients for their products. So you can indulge with peace of mind! Savor your good mood, chocolate!

When you are in Asheville, make this one of your stops!
When you are in Asheville, make this one of your stops!
Chocolate bar library at the Chocolate Lounge!
Chocolate bar library at the Chocolate

Chocolate Happiness Recipe

Gluten Free Chocolate Dessert

Almond Date Chocolate Cake

Try some mood-changing chocolates with this cake. I am usually the one who ends up eating the leftover dessert at my house, so I purchased a little six-inch springform pan that serves about four servings so we can have one serving of dessert now and another later.

It also works well to share it with more people for an even smaller portion. This cake is full of whole-food ingredients like ground almonds, dates, and dark chocolate. It makes four servings.

6 ounces chopped dates

1/4 cup butter

6 ounces dark chocolate

One tablespoon of maple syrup

Two eggs beaten

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup ground almonds

One teaspoon of vanilla extract

Nutella spread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 6-inch spring form pan. Grind almonds in a food processor. Place butter, dark chocolate, chopped dates, and maple syrup in a saucepan and cook on low heat until butter and chocolate are melted and dates are dissolved. Add almonds and vanilla extract. Place cake batter into cake pan. Bake for about 30 minutes until the top of the cake springs bakes slightly, and a toothpick comes out clean from the middle of the cake. Take out of the oven and loosen the sides of the cake from the pan. Allow to cook almost entirely, and then take it out of the pan and add it to a cake plate. After cooling, ice the top with a little Nutella.

I topped mine with a few of the French Broad truffles to decorate! Looking carefully, you can see how each truffle is decorated uniquely.

You can make these easy chocolate treats at home!
You can make these easy chocolate treats at home!

Chocolate Dipped Dried Fruit

This is a recipe that my grandchildren and I made together!

Dried apples, figs, dates, apricots, and semi-sweet dark and white chocolate were dipped in semi-sweet dark chocolate. Try this quick recipe at home with some friends, but be prepared to get messy and have fun!

After dipping the fruit, I left it to cool and then melted some white chocolate to drizzle over the top. After I let the white chocolate cool, it was time to take a taste test! Since our candies contain the health benefits of dried fruit and chocolate, we should try a few. After that, I packed them up in a mason jar for a particular Valentine’s treat for some of my Valentines. I hope that they enjoy it as much as my family did!

The chocolate-dipped fruit is an elegant treat. When I bought the ingredients for the treats, I was inspired by some chocolate-dipped figs at the store that were much more costly than what it cost me to make my chocolate-dipped figs.

Local apples and figs can be dried in a dehydrator. Making an elegant treat with whole ingredients and eating it mindfully is a significant health practice. Make these treats with/and/for your favorite friends. This sweet is simple, tasty, and healthy!

This chocolate fruit dessert is so easy to make at home!

Here is a recipe for chocolate pecan sweet potato mini pies.

Does Chocolate Make You Happy?

I hope this blog post gave you some easy, delicious ways to eat chocolate happiness that might be good for you, too! As a dietitian nutritionist in Asheville. I enjoy sharing ways to enjoy good food while staying healthy! That includes sharing healthy recipes for desserts for special occasions! I hope you would love to keep in touch by signing up for my blog! That way, you will not miss a single post! Enjoy these chocolate brain treats I created lovingly!

Skip to content