Among the purposes of this book is to give real chocolate a positive image and to allow everyone to feel good about eating and enjoying it. It is one of the most nutritious and easily digested foods known. It contains a multitude of vitamins (A1, B1, B2, C, D and E), minerals (calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, chromium and phosphorous) and complex alkaloids, all of which enhance health and well-being. The iron in chocolate also comes in a form 93 per cent useable by the body, the oxalic acid helping bond the iron and calcium so it is bio-available.
Real chocolate is low in sugar and has a low glycaemic index, meaning it keeps you feeling full for longer and helps keep your blood glucose levels steady. The glycaemic index of chocolate is 49 (45 for milk chocolate) and anything under 50 is considered low; crisps, biscuits, white bread and other refined carbohydrates have a high glycaemic index. There is strong evidence that replacing desserts with good chocolate can actually help weight loss and diabetes (see A Chocolate a Day Keeps the Doctor Away by Dr John Ashton and Suzy Ashton, Souvenir Press, London 2002).
Chocolate is also rich in flavinoids (also found in red wine) and other chemical compounds known to reduce the likelihood of deep vein thrombosis and strokes. Although red wine is excellent in moderate amounts, alcohol can be dangerous, but I have never heard of anyone being killed by eating real chocolate. Cocoa butter has been proven to lower blood cholesterol levels, and chocolate is rich in antioxidants, which help to destroy the unhealthy free radicals and boost the immune system, two of the most important factors in preventing cancer.
© 2003 Chantal Coady. All rights reserved.