Number One • Chocolate grows on trees.
We’ve all been told to be careful with our money because it doesn’t grow on trees. By this logic, anything that DOES grow on trees falls into the category of “Consume As Much As You Want” and, fortunately, this includes chocolate. Not to mention, everyone knows that things that grow on trees are good for you. In the case of cacao (the real name for the raw form of chocolate, not just a fancy word your hipster friends like to throw around), there is a whole lot of goodness to be found including:
- more than 300 phytochemicals *giving cacao more than 20 times the antioxidant power of blueberries*
- Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, E
- Essential fatty acids
Number Two • It keeps the crazy away.
… Well okay.. That might be a little bit of a stretch. But as every warm blooded female knows, there are days when the only thing keeping you sane is a little bit of chocolate (or a lot bit -- depending on the day). Amazingly there are actual, science supported, reasons for this.
One of them is Phenethylamine, or PEA, a compound found naturally in chocolate. PEA is a chemical that acts in the brain. It works along with other key happy and pleasure hormones serotonin and dopamine. Notable effects of PEA that have been researched are improved mood (including antidepressive effects),and increased sensations of pleasure and euphoria. PEA is at peak levels in the brain when we fall in love. Other compounds in chocolate are linked to improved blood flow and help with blood sugar regulation, both of which also help our brains to function better, which keeps our mood and emotional state stable.
So now, you can stop thinking of chocolate as a guilty pleasure. And start thinking about it as a healthy pleasure. You’re welcome!