So what else can the lovely stuff do?
Polyphenols are a group of badass antioxidants found in tea, walnuts, olive oil, fruits, and veggies. The polyphenols found in dark chocolate hang out with brain receptors associated with anxiety, the study authors say, in the same way that some common anxiety medications do.
“Anecdotally, chocolate is often linked to mood enhancement,” says Matthew Pase, the lead author of the study. “This clinical trial is perhaps the first to scientifically demonstrate the positive effects of cocoa polyphenols on mood.”
As we’ve discussed before, when people get creative, they relax their inhibitions, allowing ideas to flow more smoothly.
The inference, then, is this: If cocoa supplies your brain with polyphenols, and polyphenols allay anxiety, and anxiety inhibits idea-flow, then mood-elevating chocolate can help your ideas stream out faster.
Conclusion? When you grab your next bar, go dark.
“The higher the cocoa content of the chocolate,” Pase says, “the more polyphenols the chocolate will contain.”
[Image: Flickr user John Loo]