Valentine’s 2016

Brethren!   Valentine’s Day is upon us …. again!

Did you remember?

Have you given it the appropriate solemnity we are told it deserves?

Has it taken you by surprise like Christmas shopping?

Are you confused by the kind of card you should get?

Do you confuse roses for dandelions or burdock?

Is shiny, sparkly bling not in your cosmic perspective?

If yes, then what’s the fall back for your continued bliss?

Why chocolates of course!

Let’s look at chocolate for a knowledge based rationale when you explain to your honey why this was your choice for commemorating Cupid’s day.

Let’s start where it counts on the health front. Kerri-Ann Jennings, a registered dietitian and the associate editor of nutrition for EatingWell magazine, states that “dark chocolate has much to recommend it (in moderation — remember, it’s still high in fat and sugar, which can add a lot of unwanted calories if eaten with abandon). That’s because chocolate has lots of antioxidants, just like green tea. Chocolate eating has also been linked to low blood pressure and increased insulin sensitivity. ”

Wikipedia offers the following positive and reassuring facts.  Acne was considered to be caused by chocolate but this is not supported by scientific studies. Chocolate also has a low glycemic index. High glycemic index foods along with other potential dietary sources are the causes for acne. Addiction is a serious problem. Self described chocoholics passionately crave it. They are not truly addicted by definition. Sadly, there are no rigorous studies that give credence to the aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate. This, however, does not change the myth.  Maybe it shouldn’t.  Chocolate contains caffeine, like coffee and tea which is a mild stimulant, a characteristic also attributed to theobromine that is also found in it. Chocolate’s relationship to body weight is unclear. Excessive consumption of dark chocolate can lead to high caloric intake and weight gain.

Turning to the mouth and teeth [as a dentist I feel obligated], the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry quotes a British study by Levine that, “there is evidence that foods containing milk casein, calcium, phosphorus, and cocoa, all of which are found in chocolate milk, may be less likely to contribute to dental caries [cavities] than sucrose alone or other snack foods.”

The evidence to date indicates that, when consumed in moderation, flavoured milk, including chocolate milk, has a low cariogenic potential.

Another interesting study found that a naturally occurring cacao extract, Rennou™, actually works better than fluoride to restore and repair enamel, and occludes dentinal tubules, ultimately eliminating dental hypersensitivity in just seven days.

So, without belabouring the obvious value of chocolate, this cursory survey of chocolate’s many benefits may just get you out of the dog house this February 14th!


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