Foodie Friday: the Power & Benefit of Chocolate

12 Feb

[read time: 4 minutes]

did you know that chocolate has more antioxidants than kale?

*the author briefly imagines and rapidly dismisses the idea of chocolate covered dino kale*

while briefly reviewing my posts, i realized how many of them reference chocolate–a lot!  the pattern of continual cocoa reference indicated that i just need to go on ahead and come out of the closet as a chocoholic.  ok… here it goes.

hello. my name is tazima and i am a chocoholic.
…hmm that wasn’t so bad.  i can live with myself.
and just to be clear, i am a bit of a connoisseur,  i’m rather discriminating with my shit, so please don’t start sending me waxy-ass, un-decadent grocery-store-check-out-aisle chocoCRAP bars.  thanksmuch…mmk!

for my fellow chocoholics out there
below is more than enough justification [and encouragement] to indulge and a bit on how to be smart about it. 

one thing we know about february is that lots of chocolate will be consumed!  not that i need some people in white coats to say what i know intuitively in my body, but for those who do… according to the USDA-Journal of the American Chemical Society, dark chocolate tops the list as a rich source of anti-aging, cancer-fighting, health-promoting agents as well as offering protection from heart disease and other inflammation-related conditions.  the ORAC scale measures the antioxidant power of foods.

Some ORAC Scores  (Antioxidant Power)

Dark Chocolate ……………………. 13,120

Milk Chocolate ………………………….. 6740

Blueberries ……………………………….. 2400

Kale …………………………………………. 1770

Strawberries ……………………………… 1540

Spinach …………………………………….. 1260

Brussels Sprouts ………………………….. 980

Broccoli …………………………………….. 890

as you can see from the scores above, mixing chocolate with milk cuts the benefit significantly-keep it pure people!  and make sure you eat the rest of the high antioxidant veggies and fruits on this list.

if this clear evidence isn’t enough, here’s more:

glorious chocolate possesses exceptional benefits.
it is a high energy food in a small volume.  it not only contains beneficial carbohydrates, fats, and vegetable proteins, but also has large quantities of potassium and magnesium, some calcium, and vitamins A1, B1, B2, D, and E.  chocolate also provides these beneficial substances in small yet effective quantities:

endorphins, natural opiates that are released by the brain in increased amounts when eating chocolate, thereby elevating one’s mood and reducing pain.

anandamide stimulates pleasure receptors in the brain that promote and enhance a feeling of well-being.

theobromine, which stimulates the central nervous system, facilitates muscular exertion, acts as a diuretic and appetite stimulant.

phenylethylamine, which is the chemical released in our bodies when we fall in love.

phenols, which are also found in red wine, tea, fruits and vegetables, and may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

tryptophan, an essential amino acid that increases production of serotonin, an anti-depressant and natural stress-reducer. In fact, a decrease in brain serotonin levels may trigger cravings for starches, sweet foods and chocolate.

catechins, antioxidants that may help protect the body against cardiovascular disease and possibly cancer, are found in substantially higher quantities in chocolate than in black tea.

© Copyright 2010

[click here the importance of chocolate snobbery]

[back to foodie friday]

[back to all blog categories]

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: