Chocolate and Valentine’s Day, like hand in glove. Truth be told chocolate is magical, I say this because it contains some really interesting compounds not found in other foods. These compounds are referred to as “Bliss chemicals” and rightly so, as they have a strong bio-chemical link to elevated states of consciousness. Chocolate is also extremely dense in antioxidant compounds known as flavonols, chocolate is also a good source for the heart healthy mineral magnesium. Chocolate unites two important factors Pleasure and Health and chocolate does it with so much grace and mystique no wonder it has its own holiday, Happy Valentine’s Day!
Heart shaped, delicious and full of love, give the gift of Sacred Heart Chocolate to that special someone this year.
Chocolate’s Bliss Chemicals:
Phenylethylanmine(PEA): This interesting compound both stimulates endorphins and potentiates the activity of dopamine, these are both associated with feelings of pleasure. PEA reproduces the feelings of ‘fall in love’, while this may seem fanciful, there is a reason Americans give heaps of chocolate to loved ones on the 14th of February. PEA also assists with enhancing focus and alertness.
Aanadamide: This is a cannabiniod compound and its effects are entirely positive. Ananda in Sanskrit means bliss and this compound is known to elevate mood, decreases depression and contribute to feelings of elation.
Research is now linking the antioxidants in cacao to cardiovascular health.Chocolate is loaded with flavonols special compounds which support heart health by strengthening artery walls, increasing blood flow and improving circulation.* Eating chocolate that has been minimally processed provides the most benefit. Chocolate is also rich in Magnesium an important mineral.
Chocolate and the Brain:
The flavonols in chocolate also increase blood flow to the brain. So if you are looking for an extra cognitive boost about one ounce of raw dark chocolate can help. By dilating blood vessels oxygen and blood flow is increased to the brain, this increase could come in handy for studying or when are in the middle of a mentally demanding task.
Above and before any of the modern research chocolate has always had an uncommon allure. It is a food rich in myth and symbolism it is a food that borders on mystical, it’s Latin name Theobroma translates to “Food of the Gods”. Without even knowing it, marketers were on to something with the red heart shaped boxes. But, let it be known that not any old chocolate carries such magic. You need to be vigilant in your selection: things to look for Raw and/or Organic, high cocoa content and minimally processed. By purchasing raw, organic chocolate you are assured to receive a truly healthy product.
This Valentine’s Day savour a few ritual bites of chocolate and indulge in the magic.
*As reported by the Cleavland Clinic.