The Sweet Deal

nuwanee —  July 2, 2009 — Leave a comment


By Nuwanee Kirihennedige

I don’t know why, but many of us have irresistible relationships with that sweet and rich satisfaction of cacao.

Once you taste it, you can never forget.

There is a reason why it is sometimes called “food of the gods.” After all, many of us are in love with it. Some of us have cravings even. Chocolate is somehow related to happiness most of times.

Chocolate, especially the darker kinds, has gained a good reputation regarding their antioxidants and flavonoids contents. The positive effects of antioxidants are world known: trapping the free radicals that may damage the cells and tissues, and antioxidants prevent platelet aggregation in arteries. Flavonoids are also found in grapes (red), green tea, many fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids are believed to have disease preventive properties. The darker the chocolate is, the more antioxidants and flavonoids content would be.

Us girls, find ourselves having intense cravings just before that once-in-a-month thing. The study conducted by Bruinsma and Taren on the correlation between Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and magnesium deficiency. It suggested that the magnesium content in chocolate does increase the level of chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is known to responsible for feeling of euphoria and satisfaction. Eating chocolate may satisfy the low level of dopamine at pre-menstrual stage, and the brain remembers it at some degree. Of course, the degree of magnesium deficiency varies from people to people. Some women have no cravings at all.

But as a side note, ladies: I just gave you a perfect scientific alibi. Use it!

One thing that we have to remember, however, is that chocolate has calories (lots of it). So we can’t overdo it.

Chocolates have added fats and sugar. If we simply want the antioxidants and flavonoids, we would be better off getting them from fruits and vegetables with lower calories and with many other nutrients. A lot f us still like chocolate, which is not a bad thing. But we can always enjoy such delicacy in moderation.

Resource:

“For Chocolate Lovers”. ADA’s Public Relations Team, February 14, 2005

http://eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/home_4528_ENU_HTML.htm

“Chocolate Bunnies = a Healthy Heart?” ADA’s Public Relations Team http://eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/home_3978_ENU_HTML.htm

Christiane Abouzeid, “The Lure of Chocolate” Berkeley Scientific. Vol 9 Issue 2, Fall 2005

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