November 28, 2005
Hello, I am a 34-year old male. I have never really beeen a chocoholic or anything like that. I've recently gotten sick over the thanksgiving holiday. I've been experiencing a terrible headache the past couple of days. And instead of going out and buying aspirin(which I dont really think are all that great) I decided to try buying some chocolate to relieve my headache. It seemed to work pretty good for a few hours. Anyway, my recent interest in acquiring knowledge about the different types of chocolate is more health related than it is taste related. Although if I can find a chocolate bar that maximizes both health and taste that would be wonderful. And it appears that the Dagoba eclipse is exactly the bar I've been looking for with its extremely high cocoa content. A member on these forums in another thread gave a dissappointing review(Montegrano?) of the Daboga Eclipse chocolate bar. Stating that it left a "burnt smokiness" aftertaste. But how does this chocolate bar affect ones mood. I will, of course, have to try this chocolate bar myself as I have not yet had the priviledge of doing so.
September 30, 2004
Chocolate is well known to contain many psychoactive components, and there have been a number of publications of late that discuss these. Your headache dissapation may be due to the fact that chocolate can contain high amounts of diuretics, which lower your blood pressure and thus may have a direct effect on one of the causes of headaches. or it may have been coincidence. hard to say. but generally speaking, if you're after the healthy components found in chocolate, you are giong to want to seek out high cocoa solids (ie, high chocolate liquor) or high cocoa powder products, and only those which are natural (not alkalized, not dutched). How will it affect your mood? hard to say - i think part of it depends on what you expect it to do. there's no denying that chocolate has long been associated with positive mood, but there's frankly not much of the psychoactives present, not enough to generate a significant dependancy relationship (ie, you're not going to get high off of eating a bar of chocolate). what, then, is the justification for sayign chocolate is a mood enhancer? sure, there's small amounts of psychoactives present, but it also tastes awfully darn good and people generally are in a positive frame of mind while consuming it...sort of a self fulfiling prophecy if you will, methinks.
August 1, 2006
Chocolate has been known to increase serotonin production as well, but then again any foods can do this, even a pepperoni pizza. Basically, whatever food you find pleasurable can have these happy effects. The flavonol procyanidin in cacao produces nitric oxide which reduces vascular inflmmation and inhibits blood clotting by decreasing platelet accumulation. This therefore decrease vasoconstriction and allows blood to flow easier. Hence, chocolate's aspirin-like effect.
August 1, 2006
Also, early in the 16th and on into the 17th century, many Europeans revered cacao as a cure-all drug for just about everything imaginable, but what's striking is that all these illnesses were all contained to specific tracts, namely the urinary, respiratory, and cardiovascular. Various ailments were said to be cured by the consumption of cacao, such as kidney stones, urinary tract infections, "clear blood," and coughs, which as you can see are clearly related. Also, the most often cited attributes were: replenishing energy (sexual and otherwise), suppressing appetite, and fattening of the body.
And if you think that you have to consume massive amounts of chocolate all at once in order to fully benefit from its effects, then consider the Kuna Indians that live in the Blan Island chains off the Coast of Panama. They have the lowest rates of various diseases, such as atherosclerotic disease, hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. The correlation here is that they include cacao as a major staple in their diet but of course are not fat due to their hunter-gatherer lifestyle and cacao's appetite-killing effects.
"Diabetes?" you say? Yeah, because cacao is rich in procyanidin that releases nitric oxide into the blood, this therefore allows the blood to flow easily through the veins (as previously stated), which in turn prevents the accumulation of glucose in the blood. And don't forget, chocolate has a very low glycemic index (I think 22). And studies do back this up, both in the laboratroy and "real life" tests.
February 26, 2006
I was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes nearly a year ago. Since then I have been exploring alternative post-meal treats--those that will not raise my blood sugar excessively. The Dagoba bars, in general, are lower in sugar and carbs then many other bars. Plus, according to Dr. Mercola (who runs the popular site http://www.mercola.com) Dagoba processes the chocolate in a manner that retains the maximum amount of antioxidants and other health promoting attributes. I indulge in Dagoba 87% frequently. I have even used it in some of my own chocolate truffle recipes. I enjoy the 87% bar shaved over fresh orange slices--sometimes I even eat the peels with the chocolate. I think it is a healthy addition to my diet. However, although the Dagoba 87% bar does not raise my blood sugars excessivly in the short term it does tend to make my blood sugar somewhat higher hours later, due to the presence of the fat in the cocoa butter. For one who does not need to worry about such issues (we all should, to an extent) I believe Dagoba 87% is a beneficial addition to the diet.
August 1, 2006
Depending on cocoa content, a 74% chocolate from Dagoba will have the same amount of sugar as a 74% bar from someone else. The reason why chocolate doesn't elevate your glucose levels is because it has a low GI index and doesn't cause those spikes. It take a while to process in the body too, and the energy is released over a longer period of time. So it's a perfect energy food and something to keep you full for a long time.