February 14, 2011

A Decadent Delight - Happy Valentines Day

I love Valentines day - when it is kept simple and the one you love gives you something picked from the garden, a poem written for you or a decadent delight of chocolate. 
Call me an old fashioned fool but a bit of love and passion goes a long way in keeping you healthy and feeling good about yourself.
Here is my valentine gift.

A very good, very chocolaty chocolate cake that I suggest you try and bake one day, I have taken the recipe from Matthew Evans (see link). Matthew Evans; A very good, very chocolatey chocolate cake
So today I write for you the benefits of chocolate – if it has over 75% cocoa then it is all good, eat til your heart is content, there are both emotional and physical benefits.

The benefits of chocolate!
  • Chocolate contains flavonoids, which act as antioxidants.  Antioxidants protect the body from aging and help reduce blood pressure via the production of nitric oxide.
  • Studies have proven that chocolate can reduce blood pressure in those with high blood pressure and lower cholesterol (LDL’s) -the bad cholesterol. Thus, making chocolate good for your heart.
  • Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which increases glucose and adrenaline levels in the blood, making you feel good.
  •  It stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure.
  • It helps release serotonin, which acts as a thymoleptic (mood enhancer).
  • Scientists have discovered that chocolate stimulates the production of serotonin in the brain, which is one of the chemical compounds that makes us feel good.
  • It contains theobromine, caffeine and other substances, which are stimulants and may give you energy.
  • There is also evidence that it may increase your sexual desire.
  • And most importantly chocolate tastes good!

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