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Feel Free to Prosper Post New Topic | | Topics
Feel Free to Prosper Valentine Workshop: All You Need Is LoveViews: 423
Feb 14, 2008 3:51 am Feel Free to Prosper Valentine Workshop: Loving Chocolate

Marilyn Jenett
Valentine Workshop



Feel Free to Prosper
Valentine Workshop


Loving Chocolate

  

No discussion on love or about Valentine's Day could be complete without mentioning “the love food."

So…what’s the real scoop on chocolate?

That depends.


First, 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 and vanilla.


Now, the good news…

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.

Throughout history, 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.


And now 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!

~ Marilyn



Copyright © 2008 Marilyn Jenett, Feel Free to Prosper
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