Tuesday, February 14, 2012
So it's good to eat chocolate (and sweets), right?
But all these sweets--and especially chocolate, by itself or covering almost anything--made me wonder why we associate so much of it with this holiday. I get that love should be sweet--so there is the metaphorical connection. But I learned that there might be more logical reasons, too.
Kate Dailey (Newsweek 2009) states that the taste for sweets is "hardwired into humans." Apparently, sweets reduce anxiety and stress. We certainly don't want our Valentine to feel stressed on this day of romance, do we? And the benefits of chocolate??? I could take all day to describe those. The basic idea I learned is that there are 380 known chemicals in chocolate, and--either by themselves or in combination--they have the following effects:
* improve mood
* dull pain
* increase feelings of well being
* extend natural feelings of well being (to last longer)
* contribute to alertness and contentment
* decrease stress
I can see why we want these feelings on Valentine's Day. Day of Romance. Holiday of Love.
Oh--and chocolate has health properties, too. Physical, that is. Not just emotional. So, yes, chocolate is good for your heart in other ways, too.
But now I'm thinking that we should be enjoying these benefits on other days, too. Right? We want to be happy and de-stressed on other days, too, right?
I think I might head to Costco at lunch today. I could stretch that box of cupcakes across several days, at least.
Posted by Debbie at 9:24 AM