- Caffeine – a stimulant present in small amounts, depending on the type and amount of chocolate ingredients.
- Theobromine – a mild stimulant distinct from caffeine which provides the lion’s share of chocolate’s kick and energizes without greatly activating the central nervous system the way the former does. It also enhances mood, dilates blood vessels, can lower blood pressure, relaxes the smooth muscles of the bronchi in the lungs, and can be used as a cough medicine.
- Tryptophan – releases the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain.
- Phenylethylamine – functions similarly to amphetamines in releasing norepinephrine, which increases excitement, alertness, and decision-making abilities, and dopamine, which releases endorphins (natural painkillers) and heightens mood.
- Flavonoids – antioxidants which may improve blood flow to the heart and brain, prevent clots, improve cardiac health, and act as anti-inflammatories.
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