Friday, March 9, 2012

Are you a Chocoholic?

Are you a Chocoholic? My name is Linda and I am a Chocoholic.


I downsized from a house to an apartment so for months I have been going through old things that I just kept in the basement hidden away for someday to go through. Well now is someday because I have to go through it all and get rid of things I don't really need anymore. While I was going through some old school books and papers I found a bunch of chocolate bar wrappers. What did you do when you were a kid that other kids didn't do? I sent away for chocolate wrappers from Chocolate companies and stickers from printers. But it is kind of interesting stumbling on this stuff I have kept for over 30 years. I suppose I was a CHOCOHOLIC at a young age but didn't really know it. When I was a kid my dad would buy big Hershey chocolate bars and he would hide them away from my brother and I. They smoked cigarettes back then and had a full stock of liquor that they only pulled out for parties and they kept the cigarettes and the liquor in an unlocked cabinet within reach but I can say I was never interested in either the alcohol or the cigarettes. I don't know if my brother cared either but I do know that my brother had a blood hound sense for chocolate and could sniff it out when it was in the house and would open every drawer until he found it. My dad wasn't very creative in his hiding spots and it was generally in only 3 or 4 different places but he did try and keep it out of sight so that we wouldn't demolish it in one chocoholic fit. When I got a little older in my teens and my friends would come over they were more interested in the alcohol and cigarettes. I couldn't care less about them because they were always there and I hated the smell of the cigarettes when my parents were sitting on the couch smoking together. I have never smoked in my life but I have had a life long addiction to chocolate. I don't need to go to REHAB for chocolate but I could eat chocolate every day of my life and would be very happy about that.

What I think is that when we are kids and our parents restrict certain things it makes us want it more. My parents didn't have curfews and I didn't have to be home at a certain time after a party but at that age we all went home early anyway so it was never an issue. But the restriction in my house was the amount of chocolate we had access to. When we were good my parents gave us chocolate. I believe the restriction of things is what makes it become an addiction because it hits whatever part of the brain tells you that you shouldn't have or do something.

It is interesting that I have held onto these wrappers for all these years. I am thinking that I might turn them into some sort of artwork possibly so that I can keep them around as a memory of when my chocolate addiction started.

Chocolate has some great properties but also depending on the quality of the chocolate and the amount eaten it can have very unhealthy properties. Stick with a good quality organic fair trade dark chocolate with 70% cocoa or higher for the best chocolate for your health.

I think there is a science to eating chocolate for your health and mental health. Chocolate is given for Valentines Day to get love from the receiver.

Chocolate is Love and Chocolate can make you feel good by kicking up the seratonin level and endorphins and because of the following things:

Information from Cocoaweb website:
Chocolate Ingredients

Fat
Cocoa beans contain approximately 50% fat. It is primarily comprised of two saturated fatty acids (palmitic and stearic acids) and one mono-unsaturated acid (oleic acid). Cocoa butter and chocolate do not raise blood cholesterol. However, when consuming milk chocolate or lower grade chocolate where a part of the total fat content comes from milk fat or various other types of fat, the cholesterol level might be adversely affected.

Sugar
The cacao bean contains quite a lot of carbohydrates, but most of it is starch, soluble dietary fibers, and insoluble dietary fibers. A very small proportion is simple sugars. Sugar is added during the manufacture of chocolate.

Antioxidants
Cocoa beans contain polyphenols (similar to those found in wine) with antioxidant properties which are health beneficial. These compounds are called flavonoids and include catechins, epicatechins, and procyandins. The antioxidant flavinoids are found in the nonfat portions of the cocoa bean. The flavinoids also reduce the blood's ability to clot and thus reduces the risk of stroke and heart attacks.

Theobromine
Theobromine is a very mild stimulant with a mild diuretic action (increases the production of urine). Theobromine can be toxic to animals like dogs, cats, parrots and horses.

Caffeine
Cocoa beans contains a very low amount of caffeine, much less than found in coffee, tea and cola drinks.

Phenylethylamine
Phenylethylamine is a slight antidepressant and stimulant similar to the body's own dopamine and adrenaline.

Serotonine
Cocoa and chocolate can increase the level of serotonine in the brain. Serotonine levels are often decreased in people with depression and in those experiencing PMS symptoms.

Essential minerals
Cocoa beans are rich in a number of essential minerals, including magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese.

Vitamins
A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and pantothenic acid.

Are you a chocoholic?

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