Who knew I would find LIQUID gold in London? In the 2 days we were there we managed to eat our body weight in chocolate. I must admit chocolate is my weakness. Give me dark, dairy free, bitter goodness anyday and I will melt. Why does chocolate have such a hold on me? And for you for that matter?
According to David Wolfe, on his site http://www.sacredchocolate.com, he explains why chocolate is good for you but of course moderation is key to wise snacking too!
1. Cacao is a superfruit! Raw cacao (not heated above 105*F) is higer in antioxidants than blueberries with an ORAC score of about 955 with blueberries at 61!.
2. Cacao contains the chemical anadamide which has a resemblance to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is found in marijuana. Both of these chemicals stimulate the same receptor and causes dopamine to be produced. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that leads to feelings of well-being.
3. Cacao contains tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is usually associated with eating turkey and feeling drowsy (btw that feeling is most likely associated with the digestion of a heavy meal rather than tryptophan!). Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is also a neurotransmitter that is produced in the brain and gut and leads to feelings of ecstasy, not drowsiness!
4. Another chemical contained in raw cacao is phenylethylamine. This chemical is related to a class of chemicals called amphetamines and lead to feelings of attraction, excitement, giddiness and apprehension. Sounds like love to me!
5. Cacao also contains magnesium which is an element that has a calming and relaxing effect on your body. When we are stressed Magnesium is used up. It is said that our western society is severely lacking in magnesium. No wonder when we are stressed we tend to crave chocolate.
6. Cacao contains copper which helps with the formation of hemoglobin (in blood), collagen (for nice skin), thyroid hormone production (metabolism), melanin, super oxide dimutase (SOD, a very powerful antioxidant!) and controls the levels of histamine in the body.
1. Cacao contains small amounts of caffeine (about 1/10 that found in coffee). Caffeine can over exert the adrenal glands leading to fatigue.
2. Cacao contains theobromine, a weak stimulant which is present in slightly higher amounts than caffeine. Theobromine is an alkaloid or chemical compound that may be toxic in large doses.
The combination of these two chemicals above (and possibly others) may provide the “lift” that chocolate eaters experience.
3.Cacao contains a large amount of copper which in large amounts can promote neurotic symptoms, irritability, depression, learning problems, hyperactivity and insomnia.
While I would sell my left arm for some deep dark chocolate on most days I did over indulge in London. I have been on a mini detox the last few weeks; only trying to consume chocolate every other day and making sure it is as low in sugar as I can find. I have been using 100%, 90%, raw cacao beans and raw cacao to make desserts and hot chocolate. It has been hard but I appreciate it much more! Today I had some 85% dark organic chocolate and it made me a bit sick. It might have been a combination of the stimulating chemicals coupled with sugar. Damn sugar! Lesson learned. At least I won’t be going on any chocolate binges in the near future!
Here are some non-chocolate related pics from my stay in London. Balance in life and chocolate. Right?