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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Chocolate Is Good for the Soul

....and good for your body, too. In moderation, of course!

The cacao bean, first cultivated and used by the Olmec people, who lived in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, and some time after by the Mayans and Aztecs, has been used in dozens of ways, including medicinal.

Chocolate, as we know it today, took a few centuries to evolve into the sweet, delicious, to die for treat that we all know and love. Besides its cocoa-ey, creamy taste, chocolate really does make you feel good. It's not just your imagination!
Here are jut a few of the 300 agents found in chocolate that help bring you those yummy, feel good vibes:

Seratonin - Acts as an antidepressant

Phenylethylamine - A mild mood elevator

Theobromine - A stimulant, related to caffeine, but giving a calmer, more relaxed after effect

Oleic acid - A monounsaturated fat, which can raise good cholesterol



Vitamins B1, B2, D and E


Flavanoids - Help keep blood vessels elastic

Bet you didn't know that....

The smell of chocolate can increase theta brain waves, thereby relaxing you

Cacao contains antibacterial agents that can help prevent tooth decay

Drinking hot chocolate before a meal can lessen your appetite

Men who eat chocolate live a bit longer than those who don't

So, the next time you're feeling the need to have a bite or two of chocolate, go ahead and have it! It's not as bad as you've been led to believe. Unless you consume it in excess, of course. While chocolate does have many positive things going for it, you can't forget the high sugar content in most chocolate confections. That's where all the calories come from

So, indulge, but only on occasion. Who doesn't need to feel a little good every now and then? Keep it to a minimum, and you can feel good AND look good, darling! ;)

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Breeni Books said...

One bite leads to twenty for me! Easier said than done!

Thanks for stopping by!

Usman Pasha Siddiqui said...

People are always skeptical about believing things they hadn't heard before. Like e.g. they dont beleive that ice cream can help you build muscle etc. Good luck...useful post.


Nicole Orriëns said...

That's great news! I'm só going to have a bar of chocolate today!

Just one question: doesn't all that chocolate clog the arteries?

The Fitness Diva said...

Nicole, it's the amount of chocolate that one consumes that makes the difference. Of course, if you eat most things in excess, the bad points outweigh the good ones.

It doesn't clog your arteries or make you fat unless you're eating a ton of it on a weekly basis.

Just don't go crazy with it! ;)

aybi said...

this is something i really should take note of. love chocolates, but not chocoholic. great post

Daisy said...

I am Not Allowed to eat chocolate. But my Mommie loves to have a few small squares of Dove chocolate with a glass of red wine at night.

The Fitness Diva said...

Aw, Daisy, I'm so sorry you can't eat chocolate!! You are really missing out!
Maybe one day some really smart person will invent a special chocolate just for cats! ;)

Jocelyn said...

Not much of a chocolate fan although I do crave for it o occassions.

I want you to know I have an Earth Lovers Yoga Mat giveawayover at www.hipmamasplace.com. Hope to see you enter to win! Goodluck! :)

Natural said...

that's the part i can't quite get, the in moderation part.

dark chocolate is supposed to be good for you too and that's the one i don't like

maricel said...

thanks a lot for your comments... your site has really good information. i am so glad meeting you in web...

Cally the Wild Aspie said...

I lost my sweet tooth with the third pregnancy, but dark chocolate is just the ticket ... and sometimes I treat myself to a cup of coffee with Breyer's chocolate ice cream to cool & cream it. With the new finding that coffee might help prevent uterine cancer, I can indulge with clear conscience that I am taking care of myself! ;)

RainbowMom said...

Oooh.. such a good idea to eat a little chocolate. :) I honestly like a really good quality, high cocoa organic chocolate. The run of the mill bars just taste like wax to me. Great blog, you're a wonderful inspiration.

Lynne said...

Just what my husband needs, more reasons to feed his addiction to chocolate! :-D

Seriously, that is some very good information and if, that's a big if, we can eat chocolate in moderation, it can be a good thing for us!

Manchild said...

It's been my understanding that "dark chocolate," not "milk chocolate," is the one that's healthier to eat in moderation. I usually eat about 2 oz daily right before or after a workout.

For those who don't like the taste of dark chocolate, it taste better with a little peanut butter. Did you notice that Reese Peanut Butter Cup now comes in a dark chocolate version?



The Fitness Diva said...

You are absolutely right, Manchild. Dark chocolate is the one with all the health benefits. Milk chocolate has been diluted and has more sugar, thus the sweeter taste.

Never thought about having some right after a workout! Hmmmmm..... ;)

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