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Chocolate is a Comfort Food
Today is the last day of the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) annual meeting, which has brought us fascinating news of biomimetics, a capsule that can clean up radioactive materials from liquids, and the most relieving news of all: chocolate is still good for you.
Yesterday, at a symposium called, “Cocoa: Science and Technology,” eighteen reports from international chocolate experts about the food’s main ingredient (cocoa) were given about the health benefits of practically everyone’s favorite candy.
“Chocolate is one of the foods with the greatest appeal to the general population,” said Sunil Kochhar, Ph.D., a Cocoa symposium participant. “The luscious aroma, taste and textures of chocolate have delighted the senses of people in many parts of the world for centuries and make it a well-known comfort food.”
Kochhar works at the Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland; the center as you can imagine, is extremely concerned with spreading the word about their studies that link chocolate to a well-rounded diet.
The ACS has forty-one peer reviewed journals. One is called the Journal of Proteome Research and it was a study in this journal that explained the “biochemical basis for chocolate’s reputation as a comfort food.” Which sure makes it sound like there is scientific reason why some foods are more comforting than others.
This study gave thirty healthy adults approximately an ounce and a half of dark chocolate a day. Participants had reduced levels of stress hormones and fewer signs of emotional anxiety. The dark chocolate acted as an emotional de-compressor, like taking a walk.
“The flavonoids and other ingredients in chocolate with beneficial health effects originate in cocoa,” Kochhar explained. “In making chocolate, cocoa seeds undergo natural fermentation before being processed into key ingredients for making chocolate — namely cocoa fat and cocoa powder.”
What other powers does cocoa powder possess? According to presentations at the conference dark chocolate may prove a useful bit of treatment for migraines and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder because active ingredients in cocoa can soothe the nerve that causes those problems. Chocolate has anti-inflammatory properties, may help people with cardiovascular problems, and lower blood-pressure.
The abstract didn’t mention how much chocolate a person would have to eat to see those benefits but let’s just assume enough to warrant the purchase of an extra bar or two when doing the weekly shopping.
Yesterday we told you the sun is bad for you in large doses; we aren’t going to break your heart and tell you chocolate is bad for you too.
1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.
1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.
2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.