Chocolate makes people happy because the natural ingredients sugar and caffeine boost endorphin and serotonin levels in the brain. Endorphins increase with exercise and physical activity as well, and this boost is often referred to as a "natural high." Chocolate also raises blood sugar levels, which is where the term "sugar craving" comes from. Once a person who is craving sugar eats a piece of chocolate, her blood sugar levels even out, and she experiences a calm and relaxed sensation.
Chocolate is a popular comfort food and is also a common craving for pregnant and menstruating women. Hormone changes affect blood sugar levels, leading women to reach for chocolate bars, ice cream and sweet treats during this time. Chocolate contains high levels of phenylethylamine, a natural stimulant that raises blood pressure and causes feelings of increased energy, excitement and happiness. Phenylethylamine is referred to as the "love drug" because it naturally raises the pulse and produces a similar sensation to being in love.
Dark chocolate is high in magnesium, a natural mineral that calms nerves and promotes relaxation. It also contains tryptophan, the natural substance found in turkey that is known to cause drowsiness. Tryptophan is a natural antidepressant, and when combined with magnesium, it helps to minimize stress and anxiety.