Eating chocolate makes us feel good, right? But is there actually any evidence that it can combat conditions like depression?
Well, a new survey-based study of over 13,000 people suggests there is, but only if you eat dark chocolate.
Having analysed data from the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the researchers concluded that there was no link between eating dark chocolate and a reduction in depressive symptoms.
However, when they looked specifically at dark chocolate consumption, they found people who ate this type of chocolate were 70% less likely to report depressive symptoms than individuals who ate no chocolate at all.
Furthermore, the analysis also showed that people who ate the most chocolate (regardless of type) were less likely to experience depression than people who ate no chocolate.
While chocolate lovers might rejoice at these findings, more research is needed. That’s because the study is merely observational, so no causational conclusions can be drawn.
If subsequent research is performed and does suggest that a link exists between eating chocolate and a lower risk of depression, the biological reasons why will need to be investigated.
For now, if you’re a fan of dark chocolate in moderation, you could be reducing your chances of developing depression.