SCOFFING chocolate helps slash the risk of depression by up to 70 per cent, studies show.
It shows enjoying just over 100g a day — around half a large Dairy Milk — boosts mental health.
Experts found the biggest consumers were 57 per cent less likely to suffer from the blues. And those eating only dark chocolate reduced their risk by 70 per cent.
The study of 14,000 adults has led to scientists claiming chocs could be an alternative to anti-depressants for some.
They think key compounds in it, such as flavonoids and phenylethylamine, have a similar mood boosting effect to cannabis.
British researchers said the scale of its mood-boosting powers were unexpected.
Dr Sarah Jackson, from University College London, said: “This study provides some evidence that consumption of chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, may be associated with reduced odds of clinically relevant depressive symptoms.
“I was surprised at the size of the association, and also at the quantity of chocolate reportedly consumed by the top chocolate consumers.”
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She said more work is needed to understand which compounds protect mental health. But it could simply be that eating chocolate is such a treat, it makes people feel happier.
The results of the study were published in the journal Depression and Anxiety.