My first response to recent news that chocolate is a “super food” was, “AWESOME! Chocolate for breakfast it is!”
That was followed shortly by, “I always knew in my heart that this was the case” and then, “Hmm, I don’t know if I believe this information.”
In the study - conducted by Hershey Company and published in Chemistry Central Journal - researchers found that cocoa powder is the most concentrated source of antioxidant capacity and total flavanol content. In addition, researchers also found that dark chocolate was a concentrated source of the same two things, beating out fruit juices.
Antioxidants and flavanols are linked to potential health benefits, like fighting the damaging effects of oxidative stress on cells and heart-healthy properties, reports WebMD.
This is all great news because dark chocolate and me are best friends.
I’ve always eaten it guilt free, thinking about how it’s probably fighting any potential cancer in my body and making my heart pump healthier. Now, I have one more piece of real research to point to when I grab that dark chocolate square from my purse during my commute and I say to my friend, “Don’t judge me.”
It reminds of Woody Allen’s 1973 movie Sleeper, a film where health food store owner Miles Monroe, wakes up in the future.
In one scene, the character Dr. Melik describes what Monroe requested for breakfast and laments, “This morning for breakfast he requested something called "wheat germ, organic honey and tiger's milk." Another character, Dr. Aragon replies, “Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.” To which Dr. Melik says, “You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or... hot fudge?” And Dr. Aragon replies, “Those were thought to be unhealthy... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.”
It sounds like Woody Allen was on to something. If that hot fudge was made with dark chocolate, it might actually be seen as a health food. Now, all we have to do is figure out what makes deep fat, steak and cream pies good for us!
I believe we sometimes spend too much time trying to figure out exactly what combination of carbohydrates and proteins are the prefect ratio, and not enough time listening to our bodies and eating when we’re hungry. So news that indulging in a little chocolate might not be an indulgence at all, gives me a renewed sense of peace.
Personally, I’m holding out hope for a future where Taco Bell is the base of the food pyramid, potato chips are a “healthy” snack and everyone is eating chocolate for breakfast.