Chocolate facts abound through it's ancient history; its attraction is universal. Some say it is one of the greatest treasures ever discovered. The Aztecs prepared a highly spiced beverage with cocoa beans which was so precious to them that they served in golden goblets. This brew as so highly prized by its European patrons that eighteenth century botanist Linnaeus dubbed it "divine drink" from the Greek, Theobroma cacao.
Our Heavenly Father created the world just for us and wants us to enjoy His every gift in a permissible way. We know chocolate is not "forbidden fruit," in spite of the temptation it often provides. What makes chocolate the object of such obsession through the ages? Undoubtedly, its smooth texture and rich taste contribute; but there's more bestowed upon this bean than you may realize. Chocolate has the unparalleled ability to both stimulate us and at the same time create a sense of well being and comfort.
Health Benefits of Chocolate
Just ounce of the candy produces health benefits and stimulates a number of chemicals in the body: endorphins which produce a pleasurable sensation similar to the "high" we feel when we exercise and serotonin which elevates our mood. Over three-hundred chemicals in chocolate contribute to calm, restore, and energize us when we indulge just a bit.
If our bodies benefit so clearly, it must be good for you right? The confection does contain a number of essential nutrients. High in potassium and magnesium, it is also a source of B vitamins, D and E. Studies show that including cocoa and dark chocolate in your menu choices is a heart healthy recipe which keeps blood pressure in check and increases the blood flow.
The most interesting nutritional news to surface recently on the chocolate front is its cancer fighting antioxidant power. Flavonols, antioxidant properties in chocoalte's cocoa bean, are found here in similar levels as some of the best overall anti-oxidant super foods: red wine, green tea, and pomegranates.
Chocolate Facts and Fantasy
Evidence above notwithstanding, chocolate is unlikely to become the latest craze in healthy eating. However, a healthy diet can include a moderate amount. When the signal strikes and only a chocolate chip laden cookie or two will satisfy (may I suggest Ruby Cookies?), a slice of moist 6-Minute Chocolate Cake or gluten-free Flourless Chocolate Cake keeps paging- indulge a little. Attending to your craving from time to time is a healthy recipe for keeping your diet on the right track.
Working on the kosher way to channel our desires is the Jewish recipe for achieving our mission in life. And the guide for that mission is the Torah-the pleasurable, satisfying and stimulating Divine Drink of the Jew.