Is it really true that chocolate is an aphrodisiac? – Italian Cuisine

Increases serotonin levels, stimulates the formation of endorphins and is the only food in nature that contains the "bliss molecule"

It really isn't Valentine's day without a box of chocolates. And the reason is to be found in the past: since ancient times, cocoa has been considered a powerful aphrodisiac. According to a legend, the Aztec emperor Montezuma, in 1500, in Mexico, drank 50 cups a day of xocoatl, the ancestor of chocolate, just to keep his sexual reputation alive. At the court of the Sun King, cocoa was used as a euphoric during the holidays. But also the Italian seducer Giacomo Casanova he used chocolate to put his lovers at ease. IS Gabriele D’Annunzio he could not give it up before his love affairs.

The truth

But, beyond belief, is it really true that chocolate is an aphrodisiac? According to science, cocoa is not exactly used to enhance eroticism, but it has an equally interesting function: promotes the brain chemistry of love. Meanwhile, the levels of serotonin, the good mood hormone, which also promotes sexual arousal and desire, increases. Furthermore, its phenylethylamine content stimulates the formation of endorphins, substances produced by the brain, responsible for the state of euphoria experienced during orgasm or intense physical activity. Phenylethylamine also has the ability to enhance the activity of dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to sexual arousal and gratification. Furthermore, cocoa is the only food in nature that contains anandamide, the bliss molecule, a substance also produced by our brain cells that acts on the mechanisms of satisfaction and pleasure.

Chocolate is synonymous with love
Chocolate is synonymous with love.

It's not over: thanks to nitric oxide, cocoa increases vasodilation, improving the supply of blood and oxygen to all our organs. Yeah, just like the blue Viagra pill. "In nature there are many substances that increase libido and sexual function," confirms Chris Kilham, researcher of medicinal plants defined by CNN as "the Indiana Jones of natural medicine", "but only cocoa promotes the mental chemistry of being in love.

Green light for cocoa, therefore, but without exceeding the doses: due to the high calorie content, it would be good to limit yourself to 6 grams per day, that is to say about a little square of chocolate, which is strictly dark. Or a cup of Chokkino, the first espresso made with 100% cocoa: a cup contains only 19 calories.

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