Fight Anxiety and Depression with Exercise and…Chocolate??
Exercise is a powerful depression fighter as it promotes all kinds of changes in the brain, including neural growth, reduced inflammation, and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being. It also releases powerful chemicals in the brain called endorphins that energize your spirits and make you feel good.
When faced with mental or emotional challenges in life, exercise can help you build resilience and cope in a healthy way. Resorting to alcohol, drugs, or other negative behaviors will ultimately only make your symptoms worse.
Exercise can be a great distraction to help break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression. So, take a break, take a walk, and feel great!
Chocolate, specifically dark chocolate, has many health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol which can lead to reducing the risk of heart disease and improve the functioning of the coronary artery and preventing blood clots. These benefits are due to chocolate’s high levels of flavonoids. Dark chocolate, with 70% cocoa solids, is the healthiest, since it has little sugar, its fat comes from cocoa butter, and it contains iron and magnesium. The higher the cocoa content, as in dark chocolate, the more benefits there are. Please read the package label as some dark chocolate may contain high levels of sugar.
So why do we crave chocolate when we are stressed? Chocolate significantly reduces theta activity in the brain, which then produces relaxation. So, relax, have some dark chocolate, and know that in moderation, dark chocolate may lower your stress.