Forest Gump’s mom pronounced life to be like a box of chocolates – “you never know what you’re gonna get.” Actually, if you’re a working mother, you do know what you are going to get: stress, guilt and extremely limited self-indulgence.
If you lust for chocolate but have resisted the urge for old school reasons like it’s fattening and bad for your heart, complexion and teeth, resist no more. Chocolate has joined red wine on the list of decadent things that are actually good for you. No longer just a guilty pleasure, experts now say chocolate is good for the heart, the brain and the libido. Rejoice.
Scientists have discovered that chocolate contains certain natural substances called flavonoids that help lower high blood pressure and slow the rate at which the body processes bad cholesterol. These flavonoids also act as antioxidants in the body, preventing damage that free radicals can cause in healthy cells. Some lab studies suggest that cocoa flavonoids may even reduce the growth of cancer cells.
In addition to tasting good, chocolate makes us feel good. It contains a surprising number of positive psychoactive chemicals. By increasing the dopamine in the brain, these chemicals release endorphins – the same elements that contribute to runner’s high and good moods. Small amounts of caffeine in chocolate also supply an energy boost. Perhaps best of all, the serotonin chocolate contains has been connected to an increase in sexual pleasure. Many researchers think that the endorphins produced when we eat dark chocolate produce a rush that mimics the sensations of orgasm. A recent study by Italian doctors, funded by their university, not by the chocolate industry, suggested that women who eat chocolate regularly have a better sex life than those who don’t, and that women with low libido become “more amorous” after eating chocolate. Hmmmm.
There’s even some evidence that eating chocolate during pregnancy is good for your baby. According to a study by a Finnish doctor, babies born to women who had been eating chocolate daily during pregnancy were more active and smiled and laughed more frequently than those women who didn’t use chocolate to relieve their stress. That’s more carefully studied permission than you could possibly need.
So, what does all this mean? Indulge -- your doctor says so.
Try the Chocolate Rx collection at www.bsweets.com . According to b.sweets, "any self diagnosed problem can be treated the right way . . . sweetly." This amazing company has created an all-American collection of classic comfort treats smothered in rich milk chocolate, packaged in a hip, stylish way. But what really sweetens their deal is the fact that 20% of the proceeds from online sales of their 12 oz Chocolate Rx Assortment Box are donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Don't stop there, you must also check out www.chickchocolates.com.  Marketed exclusively to women for whom, according to their website, "chocolate is more than a food choice, it's a relationship." Indeed.