Chocolate – Good or Bad?

My sister-in-law makes chocolate. She and her husband, my wife’s younger brother, make chocolate in a small house and café at the end of a dirt road on an island off the coast of Maine. Kate writes a blog about chocolate, and she has linked her blog to mine.

How do I handle this? Do I want to be associated with chocolate – isn’t it bad for you? 

Chocolate, or cocoa, was first found around 2000 BC in the Amazon, was used by the Mayas and the Azteks, and brought to Spain in small amounts by Columbus, who didn’t see much value in it, even though it was used as currency in South America. 

During Louis XIV’s reign, cocoa was viewed as an aphrodisiac. We now know cocoa contains phenylethylamine, PEA, which is associated with euphoria. Curiously, pickled herring contains more PEA than chocolate. (Did I mention I’m Swedish?)

Actually, there is a growing body of evidence about the real health benefits of cocoa and dark chocolate:

It contains flavonols, powerful antioxidants; dark chocolate has more antioxidant power than blueberries. 40 grams of dark chocolate is comparable to a glass of red wine. 

Dark chocolate contains stearic acid, a neutral type of fat, which does not raise levels of harmful LDL; it contains mono-unsaturated oleic acid, which raises levels of the good HDL cholesterol.

Cocoa has blood thinning and circulation enhancing properties similar to aspirin, and it has mild antibacterial properties. It has been said that people who eat chocolate regularly live a year longer!

So, I have no problem being associated with the making and eating of chocolate; we often get samples, and we eat them without guilt. I’ll even link back to Kate’s blog!

1 Response to “Chocolate – Good or Bad?”

  1. 1 Dr. Tom Bibey July 28, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Hey there,

    Wow am I glad to run into your blog. Talk about a kindred spirit. I am a country doc who writes, too. My blog is a crazy mixture of my world of medicine and bluegrass music. Come visit.

    Dr. Tom Bibey

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