In modern lifestyles, there are many things different in comparison with the lives of people from a decade ago. This includes fitness and diet. Due to the easy access to information, there is more awareness of this subject than ever before.
This is all thanks to the advent of technology and the prevalence of the internet as well as social media. A person is just one click away from research journals and specific websites for fitness and diet.
In the midst of this, there is also a negative impact. Spreading false information and so-called ‘facts’ is also a common practice nowadays. One has to be very careful before believing or trying out something from the internet especially if its related to health.
At the same time, researchers always carry out trials and studies to corroborate a particular hypothesis. There is also research on many of the common beliefs and practices. For instance, many people assume that chocolate is beneficial for health.
According to previous studies, this is true in the case of dark chocolate. Having a limited amount of chocolate is good for the heart as well as general health due to antioxidants. Secondly, some studies also tie it to advantages for mental health.
However, there is no study which particularly looks at the consumption of chocolate as a factor in depression. The new research aims to fill this gap.
The study was a collaboration between researchers from the follows University College London, Alberta Health Services in Canada, and the University of Calgary. Its findings appear in the journal Depression & Anxiety.
What Was the Research Method?
At the moment, depression is one of the biggest concerns among health professionals. This is because its cases are rising day by day. It is, in fact, becoming a global issue alongside diabetes and obesity.
The symptoms of depression and its intensity vary from one person to another. Doctors usually prescribe medication and different therapies for its treatment. However, since the latter does not work on its own, giving medicine is compulsory in many cases.
This especially goes for people with a diagnosis of clinical depressive episodes. The issue with this type of approach is that it does not work for every person. Consequently, many people taking antidepressants to stop after five to six weeks.
In addition, like every medicine, antidepressants also have negative impacts on the body. Taking too many of them long for a long period of time may be harmful.
In such a scenario, doctors look at changing lifestyle factors. For example, fitness and diet can play a major role in the development of depression. Dietary intervention can, therefore, be highly effective.
For this reason, researchers looked at eating chocolate in the new study. They took data from the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. This did not include people who had conditions like diabetes or were underweight.
In total, there was an examination of data from 13,626 people, all of who were over the age of twenty. Secondly, the participants also had to fill out the Patient Health Questionnaire and interviews for further information.
What Was the Result?
The researchers looked at a number of factors carefully while coming to a conclusion. This includes ethnicity, social class, income levels, and health status.
Participants who were regular chocolate consumers were typically from higher social classes with better health. In such cases, chocolate did not make a difference.
However, when looked specifically at dark chocolate consumers, there were differences. People who ate dark chocolate were seventy percent less likely to have signs of depression. Generally, chocolate-consumers also were less likely to report depressive symptoms.
While these findings may be positive, the researchers state further investigation is needed. For the time being, it is safe to consume dark chocolate in a limited amount