I was so happy when I stumbled upon an interview with ethnobotanist (I don’t know what that is either) Chris Kilham who talks about the amazingness of chocolate in his new book Psyche Delicacies.
As a long-time, hardcore, incorrigible, chocolate addict, this is excellent news. I am only half-joking when I say I want to die by drowning in pool of melted chocolate. I hung onto his every word as he espoused the heath virtues of my drug of choice.
If what he says is true, then chocolate is good for our hearts – it lowers cholesterol and reduces platelet aggregation (say what?). The greatest concentration of beneficial substances in chocolate is pure cocoa, so we should eat chocolate that is dark and bitter.
I also learned from Chris that it is a soft drug and is psycho-active. It is loaded with compounds that affect brain chemistry and mood. For example, women eat more chocolate just before or during menstruation because at this time serotonin levels go down but chocolate helps to build them back up, resulting in an enhanced mood. Hmmm I always wondered why I craved chocolate during this time.
Of course, chocolate is also a love potion. It contains phenylamine which we naturally produce during orgasm or when we are in love, so eating chocolate mimics the brain chemistry of being in love. I guess the creators of Valentine’s Day already knew this.
Bottom line: don’t feel bad after your next chocolate binge. It is healthier and less addictive than crack. And a lot cheaper too. Bring on Easter!