According to Elson Hass in his book “Staying Healthy With Nutrition,” cacao provides antidepressant benefits.  He explains that cacao contains the substance phenethylamine, which is a neurotransmitter found in the brain that acts as a mood elevator and natural antidepressant.  The University of Michigan Health System (UMIM) states that cacao may also have the ability to boost endorphins, which act as natural “happy” opiates and are responsible for the highs that are often felt after exercising, laughing, having sex or winning the lottery. Finally, UMIM says that cacao may boost serotonin, which is the neurotransmitter that antidepressants target in order to boost overall happiness levels.