"There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate."
" What you see before you, my friend, is result of a lifetime of chocolate. " Kate Hepburn
Is a dog man's best friend or is it chocolate? Who doesn't have an infatuation with chocolate? Every holiday especially Valentine's Day, Christmas and Easter promotes chocolate. Chocolate lovers get the last laugh as chocolate is always getting better results on your health, especially cardiovascular and your memory. I wouldn't recommend milk chocolate to anyone as milk or dairy is inflammatory to the body and should be avoided. Dark chocolate is the way to go. I was one of the first physicians to work on the development a dark chocolate. It was called Chocolate Passion and sold at Bergdoff's. Unfortunately I never signed a contract for my formulas- so the rest is history.
If you didn't know this, chocolate is made from plants. It always comes back to the plants. Chocolate has the same health benefits as eating dark leafy green vegetables. Chocolate has a type of antioxidants called polyphenols which are also found in green tea and red wine. Dark chocolate contains many antioxidants such as flavonoids which protect the body from free radical damage. There are 8 times more antioxidants in dark chocolate than strawberries.
Studies have shown that dark chocolate reduces blood pressure. The polyphenols found in chocolate also inhibit platelets from clumping, thus causing less incidence of atherosclerosis. Yes, there are fats in chocolate but these fats are good and similar to those found in olive oil. These fats are oleic acid, stearic acid and palmitic acid.
I would love to eat dark chocolate very day, but there are those calories to watch for. If you eat dark chocolate every day then you must balance out some of the other calories. I like people to enjoy life, so two - three small squares is fine to just help the sweet tooth cravings.
So how much is enough. The Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a report that adding only half an ounce of dark chocolate to the average American diet is enough to increase total anti-oxidant capacity by 4% and lessen LDL cholesterol.
Do not forget that chocolate does contain a bit of caffeine in the substance theobromine. Some individuals are sensitive to chocolate and have reactions like palpitations or extra heart beats. Theobromine elevates moods as does the other substance in chocolate called phenethylamine. This substance releases endorphins. The last substance I want to discus found in chocolate is anadamide. This is a fatty substance produced primarily in the brain. It does bind to the same cannabis receptors that marijuana binds to. I find this quite interesting. More study is needed on this topic. Lastly you have heard that chocolate boosts serotonin levels (the happy hormone).
Serotonin is primarily made in the small intestine (about 90%) The balance of 10% is made in the brain.
The other night Rick and I had the most unbelievable chocolate chip, gluten free, dairy free and soy free COOKIES- yes that is what I said. Check out http://www.jennifersway.org/ Thanks Jen
So find a dark chocolate bar you like with high percentage of cacao and indulge just a small bit.