You already know that dark chocolate, with its minerals and antioxidants, is good for you. But researchers at University College London have added one more boon to the list—it might get you high. OK, that’s not precisely true. But dark chocolate contains psychoactive ingredients that produce feel-good vibes akin to cannabis use, as well as phenylethylamine, a neuromodulator that helps regulate mood. In the study of 13,626 people, those who ate just half an ounce of dark chocolate were 70 percent less likely to report symptoms of depression. But the dark chocolate-weed link doesn’t end there.
The research also suggested that eating dark chocolate relieves depression. And while any chocolate can do that for you—hey, you’re eating chocolate, after all—the mood enhancing properties of dark chocolate are far more prominent than those of milk chocolate. But the cannabinoid-like properties of dark chocolate aren’t the only thing to consider—taste matters, too. Eat a bad bar of chocolate and your mood won’t lift like it otherwise might.
Yet dark chocolate, even if you aren’t a fan, contains more flavonoids than its less bitter counterparts, and these can help ward off depression. And, unlike pot, you don’t have to stash it in your sock drawer.