Why you should be eating chocolate
Dalite Wollach has been treating people in her clinic for over 18 years, offering life coaching, naturopathy advice and alternative medicine treatments, including naturopathy, aromatherapy and acupressure (Jin Shin).
There's not one person today that doesn’t know what chocolate is or what it tastes like? Whether you love bitter or milk chocolate, when I say chocolate, you know what it tastes like and how it makes you feel when you drink or eat it.
The Aztecs and the Mayans
Dalite: Recent studies have shown that chocolate indeed has positive health effects!
It all started with the cocoa tree and the Aztecs & the Mayan people. Both of these cultures loved their chocolate unsweetened with the addition of many herbs, flowers, nuts, seeds, leaves and spices, in a myriad of combinations. Today’s new flavours in chocolate, such as "Pepper Chocolate" or "Chilli Chocolate", are not actually new; they date back to the Aztec and Mayan days, making our “new” actually quite old!
Both cultures considered cacao, in the sense of chocolate, to be a gift from the gods. The Mayans sometimes called the cocoa tree: “The tree of sin and knowledge”. Nowadays, we consider chocolate a sweet treat, but what most people don’t know is that it used to be taken as a medicine for hundreds of years, as well as used for ceremonies & religious feasts.
The Aztecs associated chocolate with the heart and, moreover, with blood. The words “yollotl” and “eztli” (heart and blood) were synonyms for the Aztec word for chocolate. The shape of the pods from the chocolate tree were often depicted as being heart-shaped. Chocolate was considered to be the blood of the earth and there was a sacred association with it to human blood.
Moreover, the “An Aztec Herbal, 1552” manuscript included drinkable remedies that used chocolate as an active ingredient for curing stomach disorders, diarrhoea, coughs, fatigue and heart problems. In certain combinations, it was found to be useful in fighting general infections and helping different skin conditions, fevers etc.
The first chocolate manufacturer in Europe
The cocoa tree reached Europe through transatlantic migration and, in 1678 in Turin, Italy, the first chocolate manufacturer in Europe was founded. This company produced chocolate bars and potions for both pleasure and medicinal uses.
University of Science, Paris
At the University of Science in Paris, you used to be able to specialise in chocolate as a medicine for certain illnesses, especially intestinal problems and depression. Since chocolate was considered by many to be an aphrodisiac, a digestive, a soporific, a tonic, and even a cure for certain intestinal afflictions, the university felt it was worth studying.
As you can see, there is a long-standing belief that chocolate (and cocoa) offers medicinal and nutritional benefits. With chocolate and cocoa nature combines both medicine and food. Recent studies have shown that chocolate indeed has positive health effects.
The findings of multiple studies suggest that dark plain chocolate can lower your blood pressure, making it a (cost-) effective way to prevent cardiovascular diseases in people with a metabolic syndrome (diabetes excluded). Moreover, chronic cocoa consumption may lead to an improved gut barrier function.
Dark chocolate also contains bioflavonoids; therefore, it is also an antioxidant, meaning, it can help the cells in your body live longer. However, as is the case with all plants, the concentration of bioflavonoids in dark chocolate is low.
Evidence suggests that the chocolate needs to be dark and at least 60-70 percent cocoa or enriched with polyphenols to be beneficial to one’s health.
So, when you eat a piece of dark chocolate (60–70%), there is no need to regret it. You enjoy the “sin” and at the same time, health benefits. You may also consider consuming it regularly. That is, if you take into consideration that it still has its calories…
Feel free to contact Dalite at her clinic in Den Haag, Netherlands and together you’ll find the right way for you to heal, whether it’s with Bach flowers, medicinal herbs, aromatherapy, acupressure, meditative imagination, the right nutrition, healing, talks or a combination of these.