The REAL health virtues of good chocolate
Nine out of ten people like chocolate, the tenth person alway lies - John Q. Tullius
Chocolate is food; chocolate is medicine.
Culinary, medicinal and ritual preparations from the beans of Theobroma cacao can be traced historically as well as archaeologically. In early Maya recipes, the naturally bitter flavour of cacao came through at full strength and rarely did they add any sweetener. Chocolate was then deemed a speciality food, achieving a sacred status. Nowadays, these medicinal virtues have been diluted to satisfy the sweetest sweet-tooth and chocolate became this addictive substance, thanks to the most legal and harmful drug: Sugar.
Chocolate, consumed with intelligence (and moderation) can bring huge health benefits.
We are the result of a long evolution. During 1 200 000 generations, we have been in a total adequacy with our environment, our diet and physical activity... In just 3-4 generations, our environment changed so fast that we are now maladjusted to our diet and as a result, we are experiencing malfunctions.
With a little help from chocolate...
We now know that nutrition is a key factor that is able to interact with both the genome and epigenome to influence human health and fertility. The good news is that it’s modifiable, and chocolate can help!
Food containing cocoa could be a health winning card as well as a great source of pleasure. And savouring the pleasures in life is directly linked to better health, we know that already, don’t we?
Speciality chocolate vs industrial chocolate
All chocolates are nor equal. There are significant differences among industrial and speciality chocolate.
Speciality chocolate focuses on small-scale production methods, higher-quality cacao beans, good genetics, unique origins (terroir), good harvest and post-harvest techniques.
Industrial chocolate focuses on financial benefits.
What does science say?
Dark chocolate is the one that contains the most proteins and interesting amino acids such as tryptophan which will help produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for our zen and wellness feelings.
Low carbohydrates, good fat. Note that surprisingly, the number of calories is approximately the same regardless of dark, milk or white chocolate.
Dark chocolate is a rich source of fiber. There's NO fiber in white chocolate
It's loaded with iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, and other minerals.
Dark chocolate variety contains more antioxidants called flavonoids which improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure
Dark chocolate has a prebiotic effect which means that it stimulates the “good” bacteria in our gut. This is is going to modify our liver metabolism, but also our muscles and skin.
Reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems, prevents cognitive helps lower borderline or high blood pressure.
Chocolate isn't a food, it's a medicine!
One last thing. Don't hide!
Chocolate is considered a treat, a delicacy, and in our judeo christian societies, "gourmandise" is considered a sin. So what do we do when we have a piece of chocolate? … We hide. WE HIDE!
As we hide not to be caught, we eat fast. That’s when we miss the whole point: we miss the pleasure part, the calories count part, and the beneficial part and finally we feel guilty which is a very negative addition.
We should eat chocolate in full awareness, calmly, savouring the feelings.
Thank you God, thank you beautiful Earth …
Get a piece of good chocolate, let it sit on your tongue and melt in your mouth, close your eyes and breathe. There we are. That’s how we get all the benefits from chocolate!
Author: Sarah Signor, certified Aromatherapist. She studied in France with Cécile Ellert, a recognised authority on holistic aromatherapy and in Australia, where she got a Master Clinical Aromatherapist Diploma.
She approaches aromatherapy holistically which means that you'll work with Sarah to look at the whole picture that makes you or your child who you/they are as a person, not simply a case of symptoms or issues. She can give you advice on the use of essential oils to reach optimal health and wellbeing. You can find out more about Sarah and her work HERE.