No discussion on love or
about Valentine's Day could be complete without mentioning “the love
So…what’s the real scoop on
the bad news…
Your favorite chocolate bar
is 55% fat, depending on the amount of cocoa butter it contains.
Besides a small amount of caffeine, chocolate contains theobromine,
which is also a stimulant. (This is why hot chocolate before bed isn't
a good idea.) Also, chocolate must contain a considerable amount of
sugar in order to be edible.
Columbus found this out
when he returned to Spain and presented Queen Isabella with a cup of
pure hot chocolate, Aztec-Indian style. Her reaction was, "Yuk." It
wasn't until 20 years later that the king of Spain thought to add sugar
Although a daily dose of
chocolate could turn you into a "chocoholic," it can be helpful on
occasion. According to the book Mood Food by
William Vayda, one of chocolate's amino acids, phenylethylamine (PEA),
called the “love chemical”, acts as a painkiller and antidepressant,
which makes chocolate the "feel good food."
Consumption of chocolate
and this amino acid helps trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s
natural opiates, which provide a sense of well-being. Enhanced
endorphin-release reduces the chocolate-eater’s sensitivity to pain. As
if the Valentine's Day chocolate tradition needed an even greater
boost, it is speculated that phenylethylamine is the chemical that the
brain releases when people fall in love.
It is also said that the
carbohydrates in chocolate help the brain release serotonin, a
neurotransmitter that plays a central role in simply feeling peaceful
and well. Concerning the fat issue, even though cocoa butter is a
saturated fat, recent research shows that stearic acid, unlike other
saturated fats, doesn't raise cholesterol levels. (The exception would
be milk chocolate, which contains milk solids). No wonder folks fall in
love with chocolate.
chocolate has been considered a natural aphrodisiac—an elixir for love.
Casanova, the original ladies' man, ate chocolate to inspire romantic
feelings. Montezuma, emperor of the ancient Aztecs, consumed chocolate
to increase his virility.
In the 1800s, doctors
routinely advised their lovelorn patients to eat chocolate to ease
their pining over an unrequited love. This cure is no longer medically
advised, but is still widely practiced—often with the help of two men
named Ben and Jerry. :-)
In 1860, an English Quaker
named John Cadbury joined with his brother Benjamin to create a
chocolate business called the Cadbury Brothers of Birmingham. John
touted his belief that imbibing chocolate was much healthier than
drinking alcohol. A year later, his son Richard Cadbury introduced the
first heart-shaped candy box for Valentine's Day. The tradition of
buying chocolate for your sweetheart has blossomed ever since. Today,
Americans spend more than a billion dollars on chocolates for
Valentine's Day each year.
That’s a lot of love.
The above information about
chocolate was found on MotherEarthNews.com and FoodFit.com.
THE LATEST GREAT NEWS!
Since I first gathered this
information a couple of years ago, widespread news has surfaced about
the health and antioxidant benefits of dark chocolate. Current
medical “gurus” are now endorsing dark chocolate as a health food when
eaten in moderation. Yippee!
Copyright © 2008 Marilyn
Jenett, Feel Free to Prosper
All rights reserved
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