Some people do it first thing in the morning.

Some do it last thing at night.

Some like to do it publicly.

…Others require extreme privacy.

Others do it slowly.

Some dive right on in.

It doesn’t really matter which you prefer, the occasional piece won’t hurt you.

This good news is referring to creamy, mouth watering, sweetly tantalizing…chocolate.

Oh the chi of it all! In all its delightfully sinful forms…it is not so sinful so they say – in moderation.

To the delight of chocolate lovers everywhere, we now know that the occasional piece won’t play havoc with your cholesterol levels…or your food plan.

However, we all know the dangers of processed white sugar. Commercially-manufactured chocolate bars are loaded with it! But Holy Valentine’s Day Batman!! Chocolate can be compatible with a whole-food diet and a healthy lifestyle. That’s where the beauty of organic chocolate comes into play. Besides the silky-smooth taste, it’s the purity of ingredients that makes all the difference.

So, convince me.

The Politics of the Piece

Ever wonder why you reach for chocolate when you’re feeling a bit low? It’s all in the phenylethylamine, a substance that makes you happy. You produce this substance naturally when you fall in love. And when we are hormonal? It could be the magnesium our bodies are yearning for…or the flavonoids.

Other benefits which could bring us back asking for more? Aside from protecting your heart, chocolate tastes good, contains serotonins…a feel good hormone, and endorphins which …give us pleasure, such as theobromine, caffeine, and other stimulating substances. This is one of the reasons it should not be eaten in boxfuls before bed. Unless of course, that is the reason you are eating boxfuls before bed.

So bring back those loving feelings by both eating and giving chocolate.

Manufacturers of organic chocolate are careful to use only certified organic cacao beans, sugar cane and other healthy sweeteners, and nut and fruit fillings. That means the cacao, for example, is grown in its indigenous rainforest habitat, without chemicals or pesticides.

Instead of using refined white sugar, many small manufacturers use organically-grown Rapadura sugar, a whole, natural and unrefined cane sugar. It contains the vitamins and minerals that are stripped out of white sugar in the processing. It’s still sugar but the body can process it without harm–as long as you don’t have candida as a chronic health condition.

Does Chocolate make me ‘look’ fat?

Absolutely not.

Cholesterol (or your scale) need not be impacted…if you are buying and eating the good chocolate. It has oleic acid (think olive oil), and stearic acid (neutral effect on cholesterol levels). It also has palmitic acid, which can, in large quantities raise your cholesterol. So – good, dark, organic chocolate is the key. Moderation is key.

Vegetables and chocolate…

Like dark colored vegetables, dark chocolate has some pretty intriguing health benefits which should entice you over to the dark side. It is essentially a plant food containing flavonoids, antioxidants, and free radicals.

Chocolate needs to be both purchased and consumed with discretion. Buy the best from small organic chocolate companies that encourage fair trade and at times pay more than the market price for organically-grown cacao beans. Small growers are often organized into cooperatives that ensure growers get a fair price for their hard work and value-added harvest.

Small manufacturers also donate a percentage of the profits to conservation efforts, both local and global. You can sleep soundly at night when you’re not contributing to the destruction of the rainforest and poisoning the planet and its inhabitants with your chocolate habit.

High in fat, you would need to exercise 40 minutes to burn about 400 calories derived from 44 grams of milk chocolate. But what the heck! Do it! In your car. In the tub. In your closet. Or – if you want to keep this little ‘aside’ secret…do it in your office supply room. The occasional piece won’t hurt you. Indulge your love this Valentines…with just a little piece.

Only natural,

Margo

 

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