Big news. You might want to sit down.
We’re halfway through the week, and I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned that this is American Chocolate Week. Yup, you heard me. An entire week devoted to chocolate. (Hear that sound? That’s Grandma saying “yippee!”)
Eating ⅓ of a chocolate bar every day may reduce the risk of death 50%. Not clear what size chocolate bar so you’d best go big to be sure.
Here’s the really, really good news: you can participate and not feel guilty. Two reasons:
1. Did you note that it’s “American” Chocolate Week? As far as I can figure, that means that as an American you are practically OBLIGATED to partake in celebration.
2. Chocolate is good for you. Not only does it make your mouth happy (and a happy mouth is a polite mouth), and not only does it contain antioxidants, but I just learned it contains chemicals that are good for you. (Chemistry majors, take note.)
Anandamide–This lovely chemical makes you happy. It also in inhibits human breast cancer cell proliferation. That is a pretty nice combination and moves this to one of my favorite chemicals that I can’t pronounce.
Phenylethylamine–Another chemical I can’t pronounce, but I do know phenylethylamine makes you slightly more alert and gives you the feeling of love. Unfortunately, it is metabolized very quickly, which is (of course) why we eat more chocolate.
Theobromine–Theobromine doesn’t contain bromine. It’s a nifty diuretic and encourages blood vessels to widen. It’s probably what makes chocolate an aphrodisiac and it may also cause chocolate addiction (not that chocolate addiction is exactly a bad thing). It’s definitely what makes chocolate poisonous to dogs (and cats, but cats generally snub chocolate since they don’t have sweet taste receptors).
So whether you head for M&Ms or brownies or a Triple Huge Mocha Latte something-or-other, be sure to include a short toast to American Chocolate Week.