Chocolate, the miracle food: panacea or poison?
Have you ever met someone who doesn’t like chocolate? There is something very wrong with such a person. The formal diagnosis is Chocolate Aversion Disorder, or CAD, characterized by an unusual fondness for vegetables, protein, and other healthful foods. Socially, CADs tend to travel alone, having few friends or hobbies. Although not fatal, this disorder can cause dizziness, constipation, foul mood, and a clear complexion. Brain autopsies of CAD-afflicted individuals typically reveal a minuscule “chocolate appreciation center” that is shriveled like a prune.
If you are such a weirdofreak who either dislikes chocolate or is indifferent to it, stop reading here. For the normal chocolate-loving people who are still with me, I have exciting new research findings to report.
The benefits of chocolate
One of the most important food groups, the Chocolate Group provides the following healthful substances (based on a 1.4 ounce milk chocolate bar):
- 230 calories, which provide energy;
- 40 mg of sodium, helpful in the treatment of orthostatic intolerance;
- 1 gram of dietary fiber, which helps digestion and elimination;
- 3 grams of protein, the basic building blocks of the body (a 1.4 milk chocolate bar with almonds contains 4 grams of protein);
- 2% of the Daily Value for iron, which prevents anemia and promotes the
production of hemoglobin that carries vital oxygen to the cells;
- 8% of the Daily Value for calcium, required for healthy bones
high amounts of magnesium, which aids muscle and nerve function.
Often low in those with CFS/FMS, magnesium helps to reduce pain.
(Note: Because chocolate supplies only trace amounts of these vital nutrients, huge daily portions are recommended).
In addition, chocolate-covered strawberries, raisins, nuts, etc. provide an important source of fruits and legumes, essential to a healthy diet.
Chocolate-covered pretzels supply the full minimum daily adult requirement of foods from three of the four basic food groups: the chocolaty, salty, and crunchy groups.
If your chocolate contains preservatives, there is a good chance that you will live longer, thus prolonging your access to chocolate.
Chocolate has a long history of use as a remedy for fatigue, fever, poor digestion, exhaustion, anemia, mental fatigue, and poor breast milk production.
One ounce of chocolate contains as much caffeine as one cup of decaffeinated coffee (6 mg), enough to provide a small energizing zing.
Mood and antidepressant properties
Chocolate, a natural food that is free of addictive properties, contains naturally occurring substances that are believed to affect neurotransmitters and therefore mood, thus counteracting the depression that often accompanies chronic illness. Illness makes you miserable. Chocolate makes you happy. You didn’t choose illness; you got stuck with it. However, you do have many choices regarding chocolate. These include cocoa, chocolate bars, Oreos, chocolates shaped like little shells, fudge, hot fudge, and Mallomars, which are not a food group per se but more of a food phylum. In any case, research by Martin Seligman, Ph.D. indicates that having options decreases feelings of powerlessness and helplessness, creating feelings of self-efficacy that contribute to self esteem. Thus, we will never feel helpless or lost as long as we have chocolate.
Chocolate contains the bioactive substance phenylethylamine, also known as PEA or the “love molecule,” since it produces the euphoric high of being in love, particularly in the goofy early stages of a new romance. PEA is an endogenous neuroamine with mild stimulatory effects that relieves depression and increases attention without any apparent side effects. Unlike the PEA naturally produced by the body when one is in love, chocolate does not create such issues as who should pay for dinner or take out the trash, or wondering why your sweetie hasn’t called in the last two hours.
It is impossible to remain in a bad mood while eating chocolate unless you have requested it as your last meal before execution, and even then it can be pretty good.
Chocolate is believed to play a part in regulating blood pressure and blood circulation and is believed to help prevent blood clots.
A diet AID
If you are planning to go to a party, eating a chocolate bar before you leave the house will take the edge off your appetite; causing you to consume smaller quantities of fattening party food.
Chocolate serves as a cushiony outer coating for Milk Duds, children’s favorite movie candy for throwing (Journal of Junk Food, vol. 4, p. 93), thereby and softening the blow to the head of a the kid sitting three rows foreword.
No wars have ever been fought over chocolate since it is plentiful.
Chocolate can be coated (e.g., M&Ms) or eaten quickly to avoid messes.
Quantities of chocolate can be stored in the pantry or freezer.
Chocolate can be eaten at room temperature or directly from the freezer.
Chocolate never goes out of style.
Its easy portability makes for a convenient breakfast repast, mid-morning treat, lunchtime dessert, afternoon break, pre-dinner delicacy, post-dinner snack, and/or late-evening munchie.
Expression of apprecation
Chocolate can be molded into tennis rackets, golf balls, penises, roses, and Easter bunnies. Its versatility makes chocolate an appropriate gift for any occasion.
If you do buy chocolates for that special someone who turns out to be a CAD, you not only receive an early warning regarding the character and moral fiber of that individual; you also get to eat the chocolates.
So do yourself a favor. Be safe, neat, and healthy. Eat chocolate.