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Why Choose Organic Chocolate?

Sep 4, 2007
Chocolate-the drink of wisdom! The utilization of cacao dates back to the ancient Aztecs, who believed it was a source of wisdom, energy and that it was great as an aphrodisiac. Think about it. You couldn't beat something that taste not only good but also made you smart and in the mood for love. Montezuma used to drink chocolate from a gold goblet. I imagine these drinks were organic chocolate yummies. It was from there that this product made it's was into Europe, where the first eating chocolate was created in 1849 in England. Leave it up to the Europeans create the first Chocolate bars.

Organic chocolate could be categorized as a snack, treat, candy, or even beverage. Chocolate lovers around the world would argue that chocolate deservers it's own category. How about gourmet? How about health food?

Where does this wonderful chocolate come from? Commercial chocolate is derived from the Theobroma Cacao tree. The Greek name means "drink of the gods". I don't think I will hear anyone contradicting this. The cacao pods are carefully processed through fermentation, drying, agitation, roasting, and heating to produce what we refer to as cocoa.

Did you know?
* the cacao tree grows from 10 to 30 feet high
* the cacao tree flowers all through the year and produces fruit yearlong
* each flower after pollination becomes a pod-fruit
* it taks the fruit about 6 months to ripe and be ready to process
* each pod-fruit contains about 30-60 seeds or what we call cacao beans
* the average American consumes over 12 pounds of chocolate a year

As we learn about the effects chemicals used on our foods have on our bodies, more and more people are turning to organic foods. Organic chocolate is grown free of pesticides. Are you aware that non-organic chocolate has the second highest use of pesticides outside of commercial non-organic cotton? It is a no brainer, eat organic chocolate instead of the typical off the shelve you find in the grocery store unless you enjoy pesticides in your system.

Women everywhere have always known of the benefits of chocolate. Now the world knows of its health benefits, as well - not to mention the fact that organic chocolate helps our environment. An organic chocolate bar contains as much antioxidant power as a glass of red wine. Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when your body breaks down food, or by environmental exposures like tobacco smoke and radiation. Free radicals can damage cells, and may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Just think, that next bite or organic dark chocolate is fighting those free radicals.

The phenols in chocolate are known to help the immune system, reduce the risk of cancer, and promote heart health. Pound for pound, organic dark chocolate has higher levels of antioxidants than blueberries! Dark chocolate also contains more flavanoids than green tea. Flavanoids found in organic cocoa stimulate the blood vessels to produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide relaxes the smooth muscles in blood vessel walls.

All through the ages, people have known that chocolate can soothe the soul. I guess rock n roll takes a backseat to milk chocolate. With the help of modern science, we now know that is because organic chocolate boosts the brain chemicals serotonin and endorphin. These chemicals produce a feeling of euphoria. Another compound called anandamide has known calming properties. Anandamide is a lipid that binds to cannabinoid receptors and mimics the psychoactive effects of the drug marijuana. It is not the same but you get the picture. I guess chocolate is definitely the ultimate comfort food!

Chocolate's other ingredients include magnesium and chromium (known to regulate blood sugar); theobromine which stimulates the central nervous system and is an appetite stimulant; caffeine (in relatively small quantities); and tryptophan (an essential amino acid). This also gives the calming effects.

Why organic chocolate? If regular chocolate is so good for you, why go organic? For many of the same reasons that buying organic is better in the first place. You can support fair trade practices in the forests of South American countries where cacao beans are grown. Shade grown beans encourage biodiversity, and you avoid toxic chemicals. No pesticides is a major reason to buy organic chocolate. Why not have one more reason to feel good when you bite into that chocolate bar?
About the Author
Jerry Johnson owns the Organic Chocolate Yummies website as well as several other successful webstores. Organic chocolates make perfect gifts for the gourmet within all of us. Visit the OrganicChocolateYummies.com for great buys on organic chocolate yummies.
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