There has never been a solid explanation as to why people have an intense craving for chocolate. This unique product that arises from the cacao tree is widely renowned for its sweet taste. In addition, the feel is great as it melts on your tongue. The feelings result from neural brain activity positively responding to the chocolate experience. As you consume chocolate neurotransmitters that relay the good feeling (dopamine) are released in certain brain regions. This mainly being the hypothalamus, frontal lobe, and hippocampus.
Dopamine in Chocolates
Dopamine gets released when the body is in a state of extreme pleasure; for instance, when laughing, sexual intercourse, or watching your favorite sport. The feeling is genetically wired into our genetics but can easily change as it responds to certain life experiences. The brain’s malleability is its unique selling point. There are some people who do not like chocolate at all.
When signal conveyed by dopamine runs through a responsive reward circuit that results in a positive outcome. This creates feelings of positivity and accesses the situation in your frontal lobe. A memory of the experience is created that links this to positive experiences (right around the hypothalamus). When food is required, your hypothalamus collects information regarding the nutrient and caloric content to buffer the body from satiety and hunger signals.
It was previously assumed that chocolate contained compounds capable of activating dopamine. This could be cocaine or cigarettes. Within chocolate is theobromine that can increase the heart rate resulting in arousal urge. The caffeine within keeps us awake and increases our ability to focus and work. Sugars and fats contained within are rich in calories.
The Emotional Attachment
Anytime we get obsessed with something, we blame binges, cravings or crashes. However, it’s a little more complicated. Your emotions are contained in one part of the brain at any time. Certain areas of the brain such as the frontal lobe constantly monitor and respond to your external and internal experiences. At certain times, the frontal lobe might be challenged with so much work resulting in partial failure. This is not due to multi-tasking but because of the amount of information the brain holds for immediate use. The central executive mostly deals with issues regarding language-based information, spatial information, and experiences that currently exist.
Researchers have just discovered that too much stress on this cognitive system results in the impulsive eating of foods with a high-calorie content. Since the brain runs on glucose, too much energy requirements might leave it overworked.
Why the Chocolate Craving in Humans
The sugar factor plays a huge role as it triggers dopamine reactions in the brain. Additionally, the melt of the fat on your tongue is unbelievable. The unique chocolate flavor is hard to get over once you have a taste. Depending on your pick, it might be raspberry, milk-based, almond, raspberry or caramel. Most of us can recollect the memories of grabbing cheap chocolate during Halloween celebrations. In the marketing of chocolates, most adverts cultivate a home and comfort feel. The aim is to depict how close they are to our hearts.
There are those who love chocolate and those who do not. Either way, one thing remains for certain, chocolate remains irresistible to many. For those addicted to the chocolate, the best remedy is to keep it off your sight.