Whether it’s – Godiva, Hershey, Mrs. Nelson’s, Lindt, Nestles’s, Ghiradelli, Ferrero Rocher, Priscilla’s, Harbor Sweets, Whitman, Russell Stover or Dove – whatever your favorite confectionery brand – February is National Chocolate Month – time to celebrate. It comes as dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate mixed with fruit and with nuts – chocolate with creamy filling, chocolate covering caramels, raisins, nougat, pretzels and cherries. As a pure liquid treat it covers ice cream or frosts cakes, cupcakes, brownies, donuts and cookies. Mixed with milk or cream it delights – whether hot or cold – frothy or foamy. It flavors cereal – cakes, breads, pies, muffins and donuts – and even liquors! It melts in your mouth as a heavenly no fail-fudge made with Lynn, Massachusetts-made Marshmello Fluff. Some firmly believe that chocolate is an aphrodisiac – others that in its darkest and purist form chocolate is actually healthy.
Since we are celebrating chocolate – here a few more positives about chocolate:
* The smell of chocolate may increase theta brain waves, resulting in relaxation.
* Chocolate contains phenyl ethylamine, a mild mood elevator.
* The cocoa butter in chocolate contains oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fat which may raise good cholesterol.
* Drinking a cup of hot chocolate before meals may actually diminish appetite.
* Men who eat chocolate live a year longer than those who don’t.
* The flavanoids in chocolate may help keep blood vessels elastic.
* Chocolate increases antioxidant levels in the blood.
* The carbohydrates in chocolate raise serotonin levels in the brain, resulting in a sense of well-being.
Valentine’s Day is coming soon! Think chocolate… a beautiful box of chocolates!