By Chocolate Lover Diane
If you have been to a grocery store, drug store or department store you have probably noticed a truck load of Easter candy, they start putting it out the day after Valentines, and start to tempt us with Chocolate bunnies, recess peanut butter eggs, Cadbury Cream eggs, speckled chocolate malt eggs, not to mention all the pastel M and M's and pastel wrapped regular chocolate like snickers, milky ways, 3 musketeer’s and on and on.
How do they expect us to resist all that chocolate? Do they think we are made of stone? Well this week you don't have to be strong. It is American Chocolate Week, but for me, every week is chocolate week.
According to chocolate.com, a recent study in the Netherlands showed that eating the equivalent of one-third of a chocolate bar every day could lower blood pressure and also reduce the risk of death by up to 50%.
Chocolate also contains three chemicals that are good for your brain, and can make you feel better:
- Anandamide: can extend your feelings of happiness and make you laugh more often;
- Phenylethylamine: raises blood pressure and blood sugar levels just enough to make you more alert, and gives you that "love" feeling; and
- Theobromine (also known as xantheose): similar to caffeine. It causes relaxation, but also acts as a stimulant by increasing your brain activity.
Seriouseats.com offers 6 suggestions of things you can do during chocolate week. They include:
- Cook with Chocolate, there are several cookbooks available to learn how to make all types of candy and desserts;
- Get informed - Learn about where chocolate comes from, how it goes from a bean to yummy candy;
- Meet like-minded chocolate folks - There are websites and discussion boards where you can talk to other people and learn even more new things about chocolate
- Take a chocolate vacation - Go to Switzerland, or even Hershey, Pennsylvania. You can even take a trip to the local Wal-Mart and cruise down the candy or Easter candy aisle;
- Buy chocolate and or accouterments - stuff to cook or bake candy with; and
- Eat Chocolate!!!
I don't know about you, but I’m definitely doing that last one!