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The Power of Chocolate in a Healthy, Exuberant Lifestyle

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Introduction: The Real Meaning of “Eat More Chocolate”

In an era of political correctness, many people waste time being offended. If you are among them, at least choose worthy targets to offend you. You might start by feeling offended by a food industry that pays little attention to health and a health industry that pays even less attention to food. Choosing the right food is often one of the keys to REAL well-being. Consider this: Eat more chocolate.

When I say “eat more chocolates,” I mean, “now look at this – life is short, eat dessert first, for God’s sake.” Well, for your sake, what kind of god could care? From my point of view, the gods, nature, the universe and the galactic cosmos are completely indifferent – and not just chocolate. You’re alone; we are all on our own. We must take care of ourselves. There is no “higher power” out there likely to intervene on your behalf. To get used to something. That’s common sense and, in my opinion, a miracle that someone with a brain would think otherwise. Well, that is, if it weren’t for the power and influence of religions.

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This is not a complaint. That’s how I prefer it. No heaven above or hell below – just this life and no other. What could be better than that?

The case for chocolates as part of a REAL wellness-friendly diet

Help yourself live the best possible life with REAL Wellness and eat more chocolate. Think of chocolate like Janet Joplin’s freedom as just another word for nothing left to lose – but only as a joke.

I maintain a penchant for whole-food, plant-based foods flavored with minimal animal protein—but that in no way dampens my enthusiasm for the wellness-enhancing effects of chocolate.

Some forensic anthropologists suggest that the ancient Aztecs were the first to appreciate chocolate as one of the perfect foods of the one world. It’s not clear how the Aztecs came to this conclusion, but it’s true that chocolate speaks for itself. Modern nutritional science has found that it boosts immunity and helps our bodies fight fatigue. In fact, it offers enough food to feed a person for a whole day – with nothing else on the menu.

It’s true, chocolate contains quite a bit of sugar and fat. Consuming too much sugar or fat is dangerous, but a little each day is likely to improve your quality of life physiologically and psychologically.

There is an ongoing debate about the health benefits of chocolate. What we do know is that some fat with a meal helps with fat absorption of soluble vitamins and other nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, K, the carotenoids in leafy green vegetables and sweet potatoes. Therefore, a small amount of chocolate before dinner can be a valuable addition to your diet, not only for its nutrient absorption properties, but also because the fat delays gastric emptying. The latter effect creates a feeling of fullness, which leads to the consumption of smaller meals.

Research also suggests that dark chocolate has heart-protecting properties. Cocoa contains high concentrations of flavonoids. Other foods rich in flavanol such as black tea, green tea, red wine, various fruits and berries have the same antioxidant properties as chocolate, but chocolate products containing more than 70% cocoa seem to be the most beneficial. There is also evidence that flavonoids have cardioprotective effects, protecting against oxidation, improving endothelial function, reducing the tendency of blood to clot by improving platelet function, and lowering hypertension.

Other benefits beyond diet

Even better from a health perspective, Dr. Ruth Westheimer proposes that “the taste of chocolate is in itself a sensual pleasure. This puts chocolate in the same category as sex.” Supporting Mrs. Westheimer’s view is research showing that chocolate stimulates the release of endorphins, the natural brain hormone that creates feelings of pleasure and therefore well-being.

A beneficial ingredient in chocolate that accounts for part of this pleasurable effect is tryptophan. This is an essential amino acid that the brain uses to produce serotonin, the mood-modulating neurotransmitter that induces feelings of happiness.

I rest my case

There you have it, the case for chocolate, literally and metaphorically, based on the reality that this is your only life. Our journey here is short, but a trip without chocolate could endanger your health and, worse, interfere with your enjoyment. Quit bad habits when you’re ready, but don’t give up the flag of exuberant living. There’s a reason there aren’t any recipes for leftover chocolate.

Avoid denial, embrace and enjoy chocolate and experience multiple pleasures every day with chocolate-flavored flavor gases and REAL well-being.

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Note: The essay is based on a chapter in Don’s forthcoming book co-authored with Dr. Grant Donovan from Australia, entitled Wellness Orgasms: The Fun Way to Live Well and Die Healthy.

Thanks to Donald Ardell

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