Chocolate does it again

You may have heard the dieter’s joke that vegetables are good for you – chocolate is made from a vegetable, therefore chocolate is good for you.

But in the press today there’s a report that dark chocolate could help with Parkinson’s disease. Noting that patients with Parkinson’s tend to ‘self-medicate’ by eating more dark chocolate than usual, doctors theorise that dark chocolate increases dopamine levels to help control your body’s coordination.

I don’t think journalists are ever going to tire of reporting on the bounteous merits of ‘the food of the gods’.

Of course, if you are a chocolate lover, you will already know that chocolate is beneficial to your health – your mental health at least. It’s high in antioxidants, particularly flavonols (if it’s plain chocolate) which help reduce your blood pressure. And Italian researchers have noted how dark chocolate helps diabetics by improving the body’s ability to metabolise sugar. It helps you sleep better, feel happier, increases your memory, boosts your energy, reduces joint pain, pushes down your cholesterol and provides towards your daily amount of iron. I even read that cocoa has anti-bacterial agents which can help fight tooth decay! By now you have to understand that my tongue is firmly in my cheek (tasting the last remnants of that Green & Black’s chocolate bar).

Wonders will never cease.

Chocolate, I hear you nodding greedily, is very serious stuff. The latest appeal for chocolate health research received 1,500 applicants in its first day, the Scots wanted to tax it, farming communities survive or die by it. Even kissing is surpassed by it (apparently it makes your heart beat faster).

And vegans rejoice too, producers like Montezuma’s, make a chocolate that is dairy-free and whey-free.

But whatever your indulgence, do take time to enjoy it.

I’m pleased to say there is no bad news in this blog. Naturally, none of this blissful bulletin is necessarily going to help you lose weight, but sometimes there are more important things at stake. And personally, I’m a great fan of the maxim, “Save the Earth, it’s the only planet with chocolate.”

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