Do you think that chocolate has become a universal currency?
We buy it as gifts for someone we care about, know well or don’t know well.
As a way of saying: “Thank You”, “Get well soon”, “Goodbye”, “I love you”, “Happy Birthday/Christmas/Easter/Valentine”. And even, “I can’t think what else to get you so here are some chocolates”.
There are definite chocolate seasons . . . Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter.
And all year round, we snack on it, replace meals, eat it without thinking while watching TV. It gives us an emotional language too, to comfort ourselves when we feel stressed, miserable, depressed, bored or angry, and to tell others that we care about them, or feel romantic.
Chocolate was precious as gold
Back in the olden days, chocolate, in the form of cocoa beans, was so precious it was used for trading with, like gold. It was considered to be the food of the gods or of kings, and a treasured and valuable commodity.
Chocolate and inflation
In 1981, Nico Colchester noted in the Financial Times that a Mars Bar is a useful measure of monetary inflation.
Modern chocolate itself shows definite signs of inflation. Instead of that valuable commodity of Inca times, the % of cocoa solids can be low, and the product is padded out with sugar and additional ingredients. I have even seen “chocolate flavoured” products. And white chocolate? Isn’t that the best oxymoron you ever heard?
Good news for chocoholics
You may be surprised to learn that chocolate has some important health benefits, like calming your mood, helping you to relax, feel happier, and improve your memory.
There is always a BUT!
Only the dark chocolate offers these benefits, at least 70% cocoa solids.
AND you will need to supplement your chocolate with other sources of magnesium, such as leafy green veges!
You only need a couple of squares a day of good dark chocolate to be satisfied and enjoy the health benefits.
You will avoid the health risks from eating large quantities of other chocolate products – such as dental problems, weight gain which can depress you, and possibly down the line, serious health conditions such as diabetes. It is the sugar that is addictive, making you want to eat more and more.
Stress and chocolate
It may be disappointing that a potential source of stress relief such as chocolate can have unwelcome effects. It can also be a challenge to change your preferences to the dark healthy chocolate.
It is possible though, and I have been working closely with Jenny Davison, of Active-Eat, on how we can modify the foods we eat to reduce our stress levels and feel better.
We have just put together a quick guide to get you started:
“Why do you reach for the chocolate when you feel anxious, upset, stressed, hungry or bored?”
It includes tips and helpful information, and Jenny D has created some delicious recipes for you, using the rich dark healthy chocolate.
To get your copy just click here
Enjoy your chocolate!
Jenny Cooper ©2015