Chocolates 'can reduce stress'

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Melbourne, Nov 25 (ANI): A new study on rats has provided people worldwide the perfect excuse to grab a choco bar: eating chocolate can reduce stress.

The study, conducted by Australian scientists, showed that food rich in fat and sugar can alter chemical composition in the brain to reduce anxiety.

In the study, Professor Margaret Morris, from the University of New South Wales' School of Medical Sciences, and colleagues found that effects of past trauma could be erased by 'unlimited access to yummy food'.

"Implementing that diet reversed anxiety ... it took an animal back to the non-stressed state," the Daily Telegraph quoted Professor Morris as saying.

"We really don't know why, but there seems to be a biochemical link," Morris added.

Using two groups of baby rats, one with normal contact with mothers, the other with lengthy separations and higher stress hormones, the researchers found that they became less stressed with comfort foods.

"The control group had no effect from the diet really, but the stressed animals had a deficit ... which was restored by the diet," Morris said.

"(The) food seems to affect neurogenesis similar to the way anti-depressants promote nerve growth in the brain," Morris added. (ANI)

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