Chocolate: Good For Us?

I doubt if there is a woman alive who hasn’t heard the recent debates on the health benefits of chocolate. In fact, the question, “how much dark chocolate 9chocolate should I eat to live longer,” is actually being asked. Now that’s a switch, wouldn’t you say so? But I wonder can we justify our chocolate addiction in the name of longevity? It didn’t take much talking to convince me. When my blood sugar level falls, what better way to raise it than to indulge in a piece of chocolate? And, in addition, it increases levels of serotonin in my brain and gives me a feeling of well-being.

When I was a kid, I’d eat nothing but milk chocolate, but when it comes to it being a health benefit, it is taboo! You have to get the right chocolate and so,I did. Now keep in mind that I was not influenced by the chocolate advertising that says, indulge, make time for yourself and enjoy. No, what I purchased was for health’s sake.

This past Valentine’s Day I watched the TV commercials telling men to buy their valentines a huge, stuffed bear and the ads showed attractive

Big bears for Valentine Day!

Big bears for Valentine Day!

women cuddling up to these monster bears. This I couldn’t understand, maybe it’s because I’ve never been one to like stuffed animals. A box of chocolate does the trick for me. However, on Valentine’s Day I tell my husband, “Don’t you dare buy any chocolates.”

They say, both men and women crave chocolate, but women, more than men experience these cravings. Everyone seems to be aware of this fact and it makes for an easy sell. Have you seen the Axe Chocolate Man

This is the Axe Chocolate Man.

This is the Axe Chocolate Man.

commercial? Just since I decided to make “chocolate” the subject of shirlandyou, did I come across it on YouTube. This happy chocolate man is strolling down the street, when he pulls off his nose and sprinkles bits of chocolate, from it, on two women’s ice cream cones. He is so irresistible that women are shown taking bites of him, a finger, a chunk of his arm, nips at his ears. someone passing by in an automobile grabs a whole arm. The point of

Taking a bite!

Taking a bite!

this production is not to sell us on chocolate, but “Axe Dark Temptation,” a deodorant, “as irresistible as chocolate.”

It was the health benefits that sold me. So what did I do? I bought a bag of Ghirardelli Chocolates. (By the way, this chocolate is pronounced, GEAR-a-delli.)  Inside are, individually wrapped, small squares of

I'm ready!

I’m ready!

intense, dark chocolate. The stuff that’s good for you!! Each piece gives the percentage of cacao contained within. Cacao? Isn’t chocolate made from cocoa? I had something to learn here! Cacao grows on the cacao

These are the pods growing on the cacao tree.

These are the pods growing on the cacao tree.

tree, huge pods, that are split open and inside are cacao beans.  These unusual trees grow in South America or Africa. The beans are roasted, refined and conched and the result is cocoa. So, here I am, totally ready for a daily healthy treat of chocolate. Then I read, “eat only a bit each day, an average of six grams.” I checked my Ghirardelli squares,

Stop at one tiny square.

Stop at one tiny square.

but the weight was figured in ounces, only .375. Surely this company knew people would be buying their chocolate squares as health benefits. So do they fit the bill? I did some figuring and .375 ounces equals 9.2 grams, more than half again what is recommended. Hmmm, maybe I’d better reconsider this whole thing. What do you think about it? Contact shirlandyou with your opinion.

Oh, by the way, I checked the Bible for what it says about chocolate and couldn’t find it mentioned. I don’t think cacao trees grow in the middle east. So, is chocolate, here and now, a temptation or sin, or for freedom to enjoy God’s bounty? This Bible verse does go along with what we’ve been talking about. It’s Proverb 25:16: “If you find honey, eat just enough— too much of it, and you will vomit.” Maybe I had better reconsider the size of those “little” chocolate squares I bought.

12 thoughts on “Chocolate: Good For Us?

  1. Chocolate is certainly a treat that many of us enjoy. Dark chocolate has always been one of my favorites; and my very favorite brands are Gertrude Hawk and Godiva. Longevity is certainly a good excuse to eat it….not that I really need one. LOL 🙂

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  2. Wow. I hadn’t seen the chocolate man commercial before. That’s really something. lol. I only like dark chocolate and I must say that when I do eat it, I love to think that it might be good for me. Not saying that I really believe that though! 🙂

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    • Hi Janine: I knew you enjoyed dark chocolate. In fact, I think you introduced us to Ghirardelli chocolate. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw the Axe chocolate man. Amazing, isn’t it, how people’s minds work? I’ve always like production work, but this commercial takes the cake. Thanks for writing.

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  3. I stopped by from Janine’s link on FaceBook. We also like raw cacao powder in smoothies and in coconut creme with stevie in place of pudding for dessert sometimes. Sprinkling raw cacao nibs make it crunchy on top too! The flavonoids in chocolate are very potent antioxidants. Plus it has B vitamins, magnesium, copper and potassium. A healthy indulgence – especially when choosing the least processed form. YUM! I eat a small bar of chocolate a few times a week that is made in Italy with flaxseeds and probiotics in it. Extra benefits!

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  4. Genesis 1:29…And God said…”Behold…I have given you every plant yeilding seed that is on the face of All the earth, and every tree with seed in it’s fruit. You shall have them for food.” Choc. is made from plants which means it contains many of the health benefits of dark leafy vegies. Flavoniods which act as antioxodents protect the body from aging caused by free radicals. Free radicals can cause damage and lead to heart disease. Dark choc. contains larger #’s of antioxodents…(nearly 8 X the # found in strawberries). Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide and balance certain hormones in the body. And studies also show that dark choc reduces LDL Cholesterol…(the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 %. Protects the heart…taste great…stimulates endorphin production which gives a feeling of pleasure…contains serotonin which acts as an anti depressant and contains theobromine…caffine…and other stimulants. High in fat…but that’s because it contains 3 kinds of fat…1/3 oleic acid (healthy mono unsaturated fat found in olive oil)…1/3 stearic acid (saturated fat but one which research shows has a neutral affect on cholesterol)…and 1/3 palmitic acid (saturated fat which raises chol and heart disease risk). That means only 1/3 of the fat in dark choc is bad for us. So enjoy your nibble each day without guilt…!!

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    • Karen: thanks for all the research you have done. I’m convinced! Guess I’ll stick with a small chocolate cube after every dinner. What fun, thanks for your part in shirlandyou.

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    • By the way, Karen, I often marvel at the strangest looking plants God has created. The Cacao plant is one of them. God must have laughed when he created a tree that would bear such huge pods.

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  5. When I Googled “benefits of chocolate”, the first four articles listed a total of 34 benefits of eating chocolate. My kind of food! They did push dark chocolates, with at least 70% cacao. Among the benefits, it’s good for your heart, your brain, your blood sugar, protection from type 2 diabetes, prevents cancer, hardens tooth enamel, high in vitamins, aids in digestion, fights tooth decay bacteria, cures sore throats, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, reduces chances of stroke, makes us smarter, eases menstrual pain, prevents blood clots, makes us happy, and slows the aging process! Whew!!

    I was so intrigued by the last attribute, I decided to add a couple of years to my life–all at once. I raided my stash of dark chocolates from ’round the world. It DID immediately involve many of the parts of my body that were mentioned! My brain asked my stomach if it was insane. My stomach blamed my teeth. I’m not sure how it aids in digestion, but judging by all the growling down below, something is happening! My throat feels great, I’m happy, and I actually DO feel younger–sort of– like a naughty 10 year old that just ate TOO MUCH CHOCOLATE. And I actually do feel smarter. I know one more reason Paul preached moderation in all things!

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