I’m sure you’ve heard the rumors – that chocolate is good for you. And the naysayers who argue otherwise. Several studies have been done around the issue. It turns out that a daily dose of the “food of the gods” has numerous benefits ranging from euphoria to a healthier heart. Of course, the more processed your cacao, the less healthy. And, as a lover of fine chocolate, even some of the dark versions aren’t worth the pennies. Well, maybe in a pinch…
Need some excuses to believe me? Try these:
- An excellent source of potassium, magnesium and calcium. And it contains vitamins A, B1, B2, D, and E.
- Yes, it has caffeine – about 6 to 10 mg in a bar. Coffee? 100-150. Translate the chocolate burst into increased intellectual activity, decreased fatigue, and greater perceptive skills – without the jitters. Maybe those of you that need a dose of caffeine to curb your headaches could try a nibble of the good stuff instead?
- Theobromine, another stimulant in chocolate, fires up the central nervous system and facilitates muscle exertion. A UK study actually theorizes that the same chemical can work as a cough medicine.
- With all that stimulation, one study found that 1.5 ounces of 85% dark helps with chronic fatigue.
- Chocolate does indeed have saturated fat, but the acid in chocolate prevents LDL (the bad) cholesterol.
- Boosts your mood with endorphins – that means, natural euphoria. Another way to boost your endorphin level? Exercise. And another? Orgasm.
- Oh! Endorphins also help with premenstrual syndrome. No wonder women like chocolate.
- A few squares of dark love a day reduces the risk of heart attack by up to 50%.
- Did I mention all the antioxidants? Everyone is talking about them these days – mainly because they decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
- Some people argue that the sugar in chocolate negates some of the benefits. An Italian study points out that dark chocolate actually helps regulate blood sugar, which could reduce the risk of diabetes and hypoglycemia.
- No official studies prove that it is an aphrodisiac. But we know otherwise, don’t we?
Are you convinced? Just a few squares a day…
Check out these articles (my primary sources) for more information. “Chocolate: Food of the Gods“, “Studies Prove that Chocolate Really is Good for You” and “Why Chocolate is Good for Your Heart“.
In the meantime, you might want to sample some really good chocolate. I try to avoid most of the stuff you find in the grocery store – basically, every bar that you grew up with. Great chocolate actually feels good to eat – during and after.
My all time favorite chocolate bars come from Vosges. You can find the bars at Whole Foods (and other boutique stores). In New York, I visited a Vosges store where I sampled amazing hot chocolate and truffles. Sheer bliss. Green and Black’s bars also find their way into my shopping fairly often. When I’m lucky, I’ll try other dark delicacies like Cacao Sampaka‘s La Joya, a bar made in Barcelona sitting next to me right now.
The others, even in the aisles of natural food stores, I tend to leave on the shelf. I know, I am a chocolate snob. But I like to eat the things that make me feel good.
Don’t compromise! Go find some good stuff this week. 🙂