Author Topic: 8 Reasons To Justify Giving Into Your Chocolate Cravings  (Read 1597 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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8 Reasons To Justify Giving Into Your Chocolate Cravings
« on: October 29, 2013, 03:40:24 pm »
8 Reasons To Justify Giving Into Your Chocolate Cravings
The Huffington Post  |  By Renee Jacques   
Posted: 10/28/2013 5:58 pm EDT  |  Updated: 10/29/2013 10:27 am EDT

Sometimes it can seem like the only thing that will brighten your day is a piece of sweet, sweet chocolate. We've all been there. If you're looking for reasons to justify your indulgence now and then, scientists have identified some serious health benefits of the brown stuff.

With Halloween approaching, we rounded up some of the best health reasons to grab a piece of chocolate and enjoy responsibly! Just don't use this as permission to scarf down that five-pound bag of trick-or-treat candy just yet -- most of the studies below involve small amounts of certain types of chocolate, not the often heavily processed bars loaded with sugar and fat.

1) Chocolate can make you better with numbers.

British scientists showed that the flavanols found in chocolate might just help people with counting skills. Subjects who drank a cup of hot chocolate had an easier time counting backwards from a randomly-generated number between 800 and 999 than those who didn't drink hot chocolate. But the director of the study, David Kennedy of Northumbria University in England believes that his finding could extend to other mental feats: “For things that are difficult to do, mentally demanding things that maybe crop up in your work, [consuming cocoa] could help."

"Chocolate Cookie Cups with Strawberry Buttercream" by I Am Baker

2) Chocolate might help to defend against the sun.

No, you can't eat chocolate instead of putting on sunscreen. But studies have shown that those trusty flavonols found in dark chocolate could help protect your skin from sunburn. A small study conducted by German researchers at the Heinrich-Heine University in Düsseldorf showed that women who added flavonoid-rich cocoa to their breakfasts every day for three months had skin that did not redden as much from UV exposure compared to a group of women who consumed cocoa with fewer flavonoids. The first group also had smoother and more hydrated skin.

"Triple Chocolate Honeycomb Cakes" by Delicieux

3) It could also make your hair shinier.

You can create a super moisturizing homemade hair mask out of unsweetened dark chocolate, honey and yogurt. Leave it on for about an hour to boost shine. (We won't judge you if you nibble on some of that dark chocolate first.)

hair chocolate

4) Chocolate might help you maintain a healthy BMI.

No, chocolate kisses probably won't reduce your BMI. But research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that among approximately 1,000 Californians between the ages of 20 and 85, those who consumed chocolate more frequently had a lower BMI (Body Mass Index is a measurement of height relative to weight) than those who consumed it less often. The participants with the lowest BMIs ate chocolate an average of two times per week and exercised 3.6 times per week. The researchers cautioned, though, that they only identified a correlation, not a causal relationship.

Dr. David Katz, founding director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center, told HuffPost when the findings were released that one way chocolate might help lower BMI is by providing antioxidants, which could reduce inflammation, helping to balance out the hormones that facilitate weight control.

"Chocolate Raspberry Truffles" by Dieter's Downfall

5) Eating chocolate regularly keeps your heart healthy.

Findings in the Journal of Nutrition showed that eating a small amount of only dark chocolate every day (basically a small square), could protect your heart from inflammation, thus reducing your chances of developing heart-related diseases.

"Salted Dark Chocolate Truffle Cookies" by How Sweet It Is
chocolate cookies

6) Chocolate could help you stop coughing.

There's an ingredient derived from cocoa called theobromine that may help reduce activity of the vagus nerve, the part of the brain that triggers intense coughing. The British National Health Service conducted a study in which they gave theobromine twice a day for 14 days to 300 people with persistent coughs. Results showed that 60 percent of patients expressed relief after taking the chemical.

"Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream" by Simply Recipes
chocolate icecream

7) Chocolate could help fight diabetes.

One small study showed that eating dark chocolate might help to increase insulin sensitivity, which reduces a person's chance of developing diabetes.

"Salted Dark Chocolate Cupcakes" by Gimme Some Oven

8) Chocolate may give your eyesight a boost.

Because we already know that chocolate improves blood flow to the brain, researchers at the University of Reading suggested in a 2011 study that chocolate could also improve eyesight by increasing blood flow to the retina, therefore improving your vision in low-contrast situations, like when it's foggy or dark.

"Pumpkin, Chocolate and Brie Grilled Cheese" by Two Peas And Their Pod
grilled cheese

So, go ahead and love that piece of chocolate. It surely loves you back.

Offline Battle

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Re: 8 Reasons To Justify Giving Into Your Chocolate Cravings
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2019, 10:31:42 pm »
Monday, 9th September 2019
The Devil’s Candy
by Roxanne Gay

The lowest point of my first experience with edibles was probably when I tied myself to the bed with a sheet because I worried I might fall off the bed and then off the edge of the world.

I don’t have a lot of experience with drugs.

I was raised to be a good girl and old habits die hard.

I went to boarding school and then a fancy college so I always had access to good drugs but I was terrified that the first time I tried drugs I would die and then my parents would find out I had done drugs and my ghost would live with that shame for all eternity.

And then, a few years ago, I moved to California where things are a lot more mellow.

One night, I had dinner with a friend and her friend who owned several dispensaries.

This friend of a friend gave me an edible and I knew that several months later, marijuana would be legal in California so, law-abiding citizen (nerd) that I am, I decided to wait because I did not want to break the law.

I recognize how lame this sounds.

The following January, marijuana was legal.

Dispensaries that looked like slick Apple stores — all bright light and wide spaces, concrete floors and lots of natural wood — opened and the staff in these beautiful places would ask you what kind of high you were looking for.

They would walk you, carefully, through the different kinds of weed and CBD products available.

They would put your purchases in a nice little shopping bag and send you on your way.

If you didn’t want to enjoy a retail experience, you could simply order your weed on the internet and it would be delivered, legally, to your front door.

I went to a party that had a marijuana sommelier who would roll you the perfect joint.

Friends would partake while standing in the street, completely unbothered even though that, technically, was not legal.

All this while thousands of black men who were incarcerated for marijuana possession or dealing remain incarcerated.

It is a bitter jagged pill to swallow, seeing who benefits from certain kinds of legislation and who gets left behind.

In January of 2018, I had surgery and one night, when the pain pills had run out, I was alone in my apartment and bored and still tender at the incision sites and lonely and feeling sorry for myself.

I found the edibles and carefully read the instructions which said the appropriate dose was three small squares of chocolate.

I consulted the internet and the internet agreed so I took those three small squares of chocolate, ready for a mellow journey to a long sleep.

The squares tasted like chocolate infused with weed which is to say they tasted disgusting.

I felt nothing.

I continued watching television.

After forty-five minutes I decided it had been too long since I received the edibles and they had lost their potency.

You should also know I hadn’t eaten solid food in more than three weeks so my tolerance was at an all-time low.

I was wrong.

I was very, very wrong.

An hour later, the room started spinning wildly.

It was a deeply uncomfortable sensation and I very much wanted it to stop so I took a deep breath and sat up.

I held on to the edge of my couch and took a sip of water.

I clutched my phone in my free hand as if by gripping my phone so tightly that my fingers lost circulation, I might mitigate the way I was feeling.

It was probably best for me to go to bed I resolved so I stood, slowly, and walked, even more slowly, to my bedroom.

I lay down and closed my eyes.

That was one of many mistakes that evening because once I was horizontal, my heart started pounding.

I was absolutely convinced I was having a heart attack.

I just knew my mother was going to get a terrible phone call informing her that her daughter had died of drugs.

I had shamed the family name, and all for some bad-tasting edibles, alone in my apartment like a loser.

What you need to know about my mother is that she has a thing about marijuana.

Though she has never even tasted a drop of alcohol in her life, she reads about alcohol and drugs extensively and believes they are unholy substances that will bring about any given person’s downfall.

She holds particular ire for weed and it is pretty hilarious and adorable.

She will, in the middle of random conversations, hold forth at length about marijuana as dangerous, as a gateway drug, as the root of a great many societal problems.

If she smells marijuana, she will declare, loudly, that she smells marijuana.

She is deeply suspicious of anyone who looks like they partake and her antipathy for marijuana makes me wish I enjoyed it just to be contrary.

Each time she rails against cannabis I find myself, who has only tried it three or four times, defending it passionately.

The desire to rebel, I suppose, never dies.

So there I was in bed and the bed was spinning in one direction and the room was spinning in the other direction.

I was desperately thirsty, my throat parched, the soft insides of my mouth unbearably dry.

On my night stand there was a bottle of water with about three sips left and I realized I was going to have to ration those three sips because I did not know when it would be safe to leave my bed.

The spinning intensified and I worried I was going to fall off my bed so I did the only thing that made sense — I tied myself to the bed with my flat sheet so I would be safe and secure.

I tied myself really tightly.

I took a tiny sip of water and wondered what would happen when I needed to use the bathroom.

I sat up and swung my feet off the bed, tentatively pressing my toes into the carpet.

I stood.

This was another mistake.

I was still but the room certainly wasn’t.

In addition to the spinning, the floor was undulating in waves.

I eyed the bathroom, a mere four steps away and wondered if there was enough length in the sheet to keep me secure while I made my way to the toilet.

There wasn’t.

I only made it as far as the sink and I knew I couldn’t afford to release myself so I returned to bed to contemplate my predicament with a full bladder.

I idly wondered if I should phone a friend but I was mortified by how poorly I was handling my seemingly small dosage of edibles and decided to keep my suffering to myself.

My heart continued to pound faster and harder and faster and harder.

I was dying.

I just knew I was dying.

I wanted to write notes to the people I loved most but it was hard to make my fingers work so I gave up on that and trusted that they knew how I felt.

Then I called 911 and said, calmly I thought, that I was dying of a heart attack and could they please come get me so I could die in the hospital instead of my apartment where it might be days before my body was discovered.

The dispatcher asked me a few questions.

I indicated I was home alone and my front door was locked.

He asked me if I could find my wallet and open my front door and I said that probably wasn’t possible because I was tied to my bed.

I said they were going to have to bring a sledgehammer to knock the door down even though my landlord would be pissed.

I also said,

“This is only my third time ever using marijuana products and I waited until it was legal.”

That information was very important to me, at the time.

The dispatcher assured me the EMTs would be there soon and that’s when time refracted.

Hours later, I was still dying and no one had come to save me.

I despaired mightily so I called 911 again to let them know I was still dying.

They said, “Ma’am, it has been two minutes since you last called.”

They said the EMTs were at my front door but I needed to let them in.

I reiterated that I was tied to the bed and the EMT asked me to free myself, which, I guess, I did.

I do not know how.

I took about five hours, clinging to the wall like I was in a spy movie, and eventually made it to the front door.

And then maybe another five hours later, I opened the door and there were a bunch of incredibly hot firemen, because I live in Los Angeles where pretty much everyone is incredibly attractive, and I explained that I had waited until marijuana was legal and they seemed genuinely sad that my first edible experience was so terrible.

I appreciated that kindness.

I also explained I was recovering from surgery and from then on I was in and out of consciousness and then I was in an ambulance in boxers and a t-shirt and flip flops and stitches and then I was in a very dirty, grim downtown hospital and then the nurses were laughing at me good naturedly for having such a bad trip and then I was in a hospital room with a woman who was drug-seeking and down on her luck and dealing with kidney issues and husband issues and I spent two nights there and I was still high when I left.

The moral of this story is that I am now terrified and deeply suspicious of edibles and heartbroken that my mother may have been right about drugs all along.