Posts Tagged ‘Chocolate Health Benefits’

Dark Chocolate Lowers Risks of Heart Attack, Stroke

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

AustraliaThe research keeps coming in and getting better on the health benefits of dark chocolate. Researchers in Australia collected data over 2,000 people who had metabolic syndrome—which is a cluster of medical issues that includes high blood pressure, a large waist and low levels of “good” cholesterol—and used mathematical equations to predict how eating a dose of dark chocolate daily could affect the number of strokes and heart attacks the group would be expected to have. And they found that eating dark chocolate every day may lower the risk of having a heart attack or stroke for people at higher risk of these conditions.

Based on their results, the researchers calculated that for every 10,000 people with metabolic syndrome who ate 3.5 ounces (100g) of dark chocolate every day for 10 years, 70 non-fatal and 15 fatal cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks or strokes, could be prevented.

Heart HealthIn the past studies have shown that the risk of cardiovascular disease can be lowered over the short-term by eating compounds called flavonoids, which are abundant in dark chocolate. Flavonoids are known to have antihypertensive and anti-inflammatory effects, which relieve pressures on the heart.

The new study suggests that eating dark chocolate is a cost-efficient way to reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes. The researchers noted that the study only looked at strokes and heart attacks, so how dark chocolate might affect the risks of other cardiovascular diseases, such as heart failure, must still be assessed.

Sanofi AventisThe study was published on May 31st 2001 in the British Medical Journal, and was funded by the Australian Research Council and the drug company Sanofi-Aventis Australia.

Q-91ChefSecret: Let people with higher risk of heart attack or stroke know that adding dark chocolate, like Choclatique Q-91, to their daily diet may reduce health-related risks.

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Great News for Chocoholics!

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

How Eating Chocolate Can ‘Slow Down the Aging Process’

The Picture of Dorian GrayLet’s just say I am closer to 60 than I am to 50. I still don’t have any gray hair and I’m pretty free of wrinkles. I move a lot faster than most of the people around me half my age. I exercise at least 5 days a week and I don’t smoke, I don’t drink much and I have never done drugs. My partner Joan swears I’ve made a pact with the devil to stay looking so young.

We had a conversation this week where Joan was teasing me about promising my soul to the devil in order to live a life of perpetual youth and not have to worry about bodily decay and dissipation as in the book, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Now I can’t categorically prove that I don’t have a contract with Lucifer, but I can tell you that I do have access to lots of really great dark chocolate and the latest research claims that the absorption of cocoa flavanols—molecules contained in chocolate—improve skin oxygenation reducing the affects of external aging.

FlavanolsNow this is the great news older chocolate lovers the world over have been waiting to hear. Chocolate really is the latest super-food that scientists claim can slow down the aging process. Researchers based in Cambridge have made a scientific research breakthrough where they claim an ingredient transforms chocolate into an anti-aging wonder drug. Scientists at biotechnology specialist Lycotec have modified chocolate with an ingredient they have developed called Coco-Lycosome. This boosts the power of cocoa flavanols by up to 20 times compared to unmodified chocolate. A small chunk of modified chocolate has the same anti-aging benefits as two bars of Cadbury Dairy Milk, according to the researchers.

Lycotec founder Dr. Ivan Petyaev told The Grocer magazine: ‘Two bars a day may be good news for chocoholics but not everyone loves chocolate that much. But now, everyone can benefit from the intrinsic values of cocoa flavanols without compromising their health and habits.’ Dr. Petyaev added that the technology had no impact on the taste or texture of chocolate and that the ingredient was safe and accepted by the food industry.

Elephant ChocolateAt Choclatique we’re definitely on the right track with our Private Reserve (64%), Elephant (76%) and Q-91 (91%) dark chocolates. Even if flavanols are clunky molecules and have some problems with absorption, eating 100g bar a day of our chocolate should keep you looking young and beautiful—just like me.

But before you get too excited, remember to always balance the benefits with any possible detrimental effects. If you are looking at increased consumption of chocolate, you will see an increase in calories and fat as well.

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Does Eating Chocolate Help People Stay Thin?

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Chocolate EaterAccording to a new study recently reported on a segment on CBS News, the best way to stay thin is exercising and eating a healthy diet full of chocolate.

The study found that people who frequently ate chocolate had a lower body mass index (BMI) than people who didn’t.

Archives of Internal MedicineThe study, published in the March 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers examined more than 1,000 healthy men and women who were free of heart disease, diabetes and cholesterol problems. They were all enrolled in another study that measured the effects of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, but for this study researchers assigned them questionnaires that gauged how often participants indulged in chocolate.

ExerciseThe researchers found that the participants with an average age of 57 and ate chocolate on average twice per week and exercised roughly 3.5 times per week had an average BMI, while more frequent chocolate-eaters had smaller BMIs, a ratio of height and weight that’s used to measure obesity.

Even though chocolate can be loaded with calories from fat, it’s full of antioxidants and other ingredients that may promote weight loss, the researchers discovered.

Dr. Beatrice Golomb“I was pretty happy with this news myself,” study author Dr. Beatrice Golomb, associate professor of medicine at the University of California-San Diego, claimed that “Findings show the composition of calories, not just the number of them, matters for determining ultimate weight. Our findings – that more frequent chocolate intake is linked to lower BMI is intriguing,” the authors wrote. However, “It is not a siren call to go out and eat 20 pounds of chocolate a day.”

PeopleThis isn’t the first study to suggest a daily dose of chocolate can do the body good. Last summer, a study of more than 100,000 people found those who ate the most chocolate were 39 percent less likely to get heart disease and 29 percent less likely to have a stroke. Months later a 10-year study of 33,000 women found a 30 percent reduced risk of stroke among chocoholics.

However experts warn not all chocolate is created equal, and some could contain lots of sugar and calories, which could lead to other health issues if consumed to excess. “I would not want people reading this to think that all [they] need to do to lose weight is eat more chocolate,” Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale Prevention Research Center in New Haven, Conn., said, “That would be a huge mistake.” Katz suggests dark chocolate, because of its bitter flavor, may suppress appetite whereas sweet chocolate may stimulate it.

Q-91Choclatique Q-91 is our super-dark, bittersweet, premium chocolate high in cacao mass and rich in flavanols and antioxidants. One of the most pleasant effects of eating Q-91 chocolate is the “euphoric feeling” that many people experience after indulging.

As noted above recent medical research has linked the antioxidants found in cacao—the fruit from which chocolate is made—to decreases in blood pressure and reductions of “bad” cholesterol levels. Chocolate is a known stimulant and is also thought to be an aphrodisiac. Q-91 is low in sugar and rich in flavanols which many physicians and nutritionists say are beneficial to your health.

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Chocolate Buzz

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

blood_pressureAs if anyone really needs more excuses to eat chocolate, the latest research indicates in even stronger terms that the long-term consumption of dark chocolate is associated with lower blood pressure. However, this doesn’t mean forgoing balanced meals for a chocolate-only diet.

It’s okay to eat a little chocolate daily. New research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that a single square of chocolate a day can reduce blood pressure. Q-91 IngotThis is the first study to show the benefits of cocoa in dark chocolate over the long-term. Previous short-term studies have looked at the effects of cocoa on blood pressure, with encouraging results. However, there have been questions whether or not increasing chocolate intake over a long period of time would actually negate the blood pressure effects due to an increase in calories and fat. We suggest one of our new special squares of Choclatique Q-91 as the perfect way to enjoy chocolate and still get the great benefit of the dark stuff.

Remember: Dark chocolate trumps milk and white chocolate. Participants of the recent study were given a 30-calorie square of chocolate (one group received white chocolate, the other group received dark chocolate) over the course of 18 weeks. There were no significant changes in weight, lipids or blood glucose in the dark chocolate group. But participants did experience a decrease in blood pressure. The participants in the white chocolate did not show the same results.

Elephant ChocolatesDon’t be tempted overindulge in dark chocolate. Regardless of the heart-healthy benefits of dark chocolate, experts still caution that you don’t overindulge. One, pre-measured, individually-wrapped square of Choclatique Q-91 or one piece of Choclatique Elephant Chocolate a day is all you need to achieve the desired health benefits. Any additional chocolate falls into the indulgence category which is great for a chocolaty reward.

Our functional chocolates may be considered a healthy candy, but as with any dietary supplement, be sure to check with your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have a health condition requiring nutritional care.

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Chocolate May Prevent Strokes In Women

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Lori CorbinWatch for me on ABC-7 NEWS on Monday October 17th at 6:40am and 11:00pm with Lori Corbin—The Food Coach—when we discuss the health aspects of a chocolate lifestyle.

No sooner had the interview ended when I received a copy of new research suggesting that eating chocolate could reduce the risk of a stroke. Wow! That’s big news. American College of CardiologyThe study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that women who had eaten an average of about 2.3 ounces of dark chocolate per week significantly reduced their risk for a stroke. Swedish scientists tracked more than 33,000 women, ages 49 to 83 years old, for about 10 years. The more chocolate they reported eating, the less likely they were to have had a stroke. Specifically, 1,549 strokes were reported, but those women who had eaten more than 45 grams of chocolate reported about 2.5 strokes per 1,000 compared to 7.8 per 1,000 among their peers who ate fewer than 8.9 grams.

Q-91However, that does not mean anyone should abandon common sense. “Chocolate should be consumed in moderation as it is high in calories, fat, and sugar,” Susanna Larsson from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm told Reuters Health. “As dark chocolate contains more cocoa and less sugar than milk chocolate, consumption of dark chocolate would be the most beneficial.” That would include Choclatique’s functional, Q-91.

Also, look for me on Fox Business Tuesday, October 18th at 12:pm EDT on Live Weekdays at Noon. I will also be in New York taping a segment for Better TV – 9, a syndicated show that airs on 80 stations nationwide owned by Meredith, Fox, CBS, Tribune, LIN TV, Journal and Sinclair. I will be making chocolate truffles from a recipe from my new adventure cookbook, Choclatique—150 Simply Elegant Recipes.

QR CodeChoclatique (the book) is sprinkled with QR Codes (Quick Response Codes)… those funny little Rorschach squares you see popping up seemingly everywhere these days. When scanned by a smart phone they take you to a video of the ChefSecret that is at the end of many of the recipes. This is the first time that this technology has been available to be used in the publishing of a cookbook.

And, lastly and most importantly, the recipes make luscious tasting desserts perfectly for the first time and every time there after. It is a foolproof guide to making all of your favorite desserts.

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Chocolate is Brain Food

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

White HouseWith all the nutritional news coming out of the White House these days, I only have one thing to say to Michelle Obama, “There is no evidence to implicate cacao bean consumption with obesity.” Cacao beans contain no sugar and only between 12 and 50% fat depending on variety and growth conditions.

Michelle ObamaCacao is remarkably rich in sulfur and magnesium. In fact, the nutritional aspects of cacao show the beans to be the number one source of magnesium of any food. This is likely the primary reason women crave chocolate during certain times of the month. Magnesium is known to balance brain chemistry, builds strong bones and is associated with increased happiness. What’s more, magnesium is the most deficient major mineral in the Standard American Diet—with over 80% of Americans chronically deficient in Magnesium!

SulfurCacao is also high in the “beauty” mineral sulfur. Sulfur builds strong nails, hair, shiny skin, detoxifies the liver and supports healthy pancreas functions. Anecdotal reports indicate that cacao consumption can detoxify mercury because it is so high in sulfur content.

CaffeineCacao contains small amounts of natural caffeine and theobromine. However, experiments have shown that these stimulants are far different when consumed raw than when processed.

Undiminished AppetiteCacao seems to diminish appetite, probably due to its monoamine oxidase enzyme inhibitors (MAO inhibitors). These are different from human digestive enzyme inhibitors found in most nuts and seeds. According to Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MAO inhibitors also facilitate staying younger longer and even have powers of rejuvenation. Does this mean a chocolate fountain is the fountain of youth? Well, the jury is still out on this claim.

LovePhenyethylamine (PEA) is found in chocolate. PEA is an adrenal-related chemical compound that is also created within the brain and released when we are in love. This is one of the reasons why love and chocolate have a deep correlation. PEA also plays a role in increasing one’s focus and alertness.

BlissRecently, a neurotransmitter called anandamide has been isolated in cacao. Anandamide is also produced naturally in the brain. Anandamide is known as the “Bliss Chemical” because it is released while we are feeling great. Cacao contains enzyme inhibitors that decrease our bodies’ ability to breakdown anandamide. This means that the natural cacao anandamide may stick around longer, making us feel better longer when we eat chocolate.

And don’t be so worried about chocolate allergies. A recent study showed that only 1 out of 500 people who thought they were allergic to chocolate actually tested positive. Allergies to chocolate are quite rare. It is typically that the person is in fact allergic to nuts, milk and dairy products rather than chocolate.

Q-91 IngotSo, you see there are lots of great reasons to include chocolate in a well balanced diet. At Choclatique, we all enjoy an Ingot or two a day of Q-91, our functional chocolate that is low in sugar and has many of the health benefit listed above.

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Welcoming in the Healthy New Year with Chocolate—2011

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Chocolate Stacks2010 has come to an end and this is the beginning of a promising new year—2011. It is an appropriate time to look back at some of the events that have taken center stage in our lives over the last year. Ivory CoastDon’t worry… I am not going to carry on about health care, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; the START Treaty or even the drubbing the Democrats took during the November election. About the only subject on a political note I have is over my concerns of tragic unrest in Ivory Coast which has the vast potential to disrupt the lives of many innocent people and further destabilize cocoa prices which are already at an all-time high.

Cacao GenomeWhat I do want to address are new learnings about chocolate this past year. The cacao genome map is being studied and we are discovering so much more about this wonderful, ancient and magical plant, including all of the health benefits that can be derived from eating a moderate amount of dark chocolate each day.

Cough DropsWe read about a new cocoa-based drug that has the potential to treat persistent coughs. The drug is a joint development by United Kingdom-based SEEK, and United States-based Pernix. This new drug contains theobromine, an ingredient naturally present in cocoa and chocolate. The drug is entering the final stages of human clinical trials and could be on market within a little more than two years. This will be the first effective non-opioid treatment for persistent or chronic cough in two decades. Human trial research in South Korea has shown that theobromine has none of the side effects associated with standard drug treatments for persistent cough.

CougherPersistent cough is a very common condition, afflicting over 800 million people worldwide, with an estimated 12% of the general population having the symptoms. Failure to treat a cough can lead to enormous consequences in terms of loss of one’s heath and well-being. Theobromine, a key compound in chocolate, has been shown to inhibit the inappropriate firing of the vagus nerve, which is a key cause of a persistent cough.

I, for one, have had a persistent, nagging cough since a bout with pneumonia several years ago and take at least one Choclatique Q-91 square—our functional chocolate—to dampen it down. As good as Q-91 is, I am still looking forward to concentrated chocolate flavored cough drops or syrups.

During the year we continued to hear about the expanded benefits of chocolate which has been used a vasodilator, or blood vessel widener, a diuretic, a heart stimulant, a cavity inhibitor and even a way to improve bad breath.

American Journal of Clinical NutritionWe also learned this year that Flavanol compounds derived from cocoa boosts the beneficial bacteria in the intestine. The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, demonstrates the effect of cocoa flavanols on select stomach bacteria in humans and, “suggests the potential prebiotic benefits associated with the dietary inclusion of flavanol-rich foods have a beneficial effect through their selective metabolism in the intestinal tract.”

Q-91Scientists from the Nestlé Research Center reported earlier this year that a that daily consumption of just 40 grams of dark chocolate like Choclatique’s Q-91 significantly increases a person’s metabolism to help control weight maintenance. Dr. Jeremy Spencer from the University of Reading said that implications of the study are “that subtle changes in dietary habits, such as eating dark chocolate, can benefit long term health.”

Cocoa PowderManufacturers’ interest in the active compounds in cocoa started about 20 years ago when scientists sought to understand the flavor components of chocolate. The bitter and astringent compounds were isolated, and further study and clinical work showed the health benefits of the monomers and the tannins, particularly epicatechin.

Eating ChocolateScientists active in the area are keen to stress that chocolate and cocoa are very different in terms and not interchangeable. Cocoa is the non-fat component of cocoa liquor (finely ground cocoa beans) which is used in chocolate making or as Cocoa liquor contains approximately 55 per cent cocoa butter and together this comprises cocoa solids, often referred to on chocolate packaging. cocoa powder (usually about 12 percent fat) for cooking and drinks. Chocolate refers to the combination of cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar, etc. in a solid food product.

Choclatique CrewAll of us at Choclatique thank you—our loyal readers and valued customers—for a great 2010 and we wish you all a healthful and prosperous 2011 filled with sweet dreams and chocolate wishes.

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Chocolate and Your Health

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique

Chocolate, and its reported therapeutic properties, has made recent splashes across the media. In fact, several new and different medical studies performed by reputable universities, organizations, and institutions cite the possible benefits of eating chocolate.

The following is meant to be a brief overview of research results as related by a variety of resources and publications. However, scientists are constantly uncovering new information about the more than 300 chemicals contained in chocolate—so keep your eyes on the news for the latest updates and changes in chocolate health.

Here are some interesting facts compiled by the Field Museum in Chicago for their Chocolate Exhibit on the health benefits of chocolate.

Happy ToothDoes chocolate cause cavities?

Not necessarily. According to a recent study by Osaka University in Japan, cacao contains antibacterial agents that actually fight tooth decay. However, most mass-produced chocolate contains sugar, which is known to cause tooth decay and probably counteracts the benefits of these agents.

Does chocolate cause acne?

Not according to studies performed by the Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the U.S. Naval Academy. Eating or not eating chocolate made no difference in the skin condition of the study participants. In fact, most doctors believe that acne is not linked primarily to any diet.

JitteryWill the caffeine in chocolate make me jittery?

Probably not. Cacao does contain a number of stimulants, such as caffeine and theobromine, but in small amounts that are diluted even further when processed into chocolate. In fact, one ounce of milk chocolate contains about the same amount of caffeine as one cup of decaffeinated coffee. Interestingly, one study has shown that the smell of chocolate may actually relax you by increasing theta waves in the brain.

Can chocolate cause headaches?

There is little evidence of this, according to research conducted by the University of Pittsburgh. However, some studies suggest that chocolate may trigger headaches specifically in migraine sufferers.

AphrodisiacIs chocolate an aphrodisiac?

Not really. Chocolate contains small amounts of a chemical called phenylethylamine (PEA), which is a mild mood elevator. It’s the same chemical that our brain produces when we feel happy or “in love.” The mild “rush” we get from this substance may be why some people say they’re “addicted” to chocolate.

Will chocolate raise my cholesterol levels?

Contrary to popular misconception, eating lots of chocolate does not raise blood cholesterol levels. According to Mayo Clinic studies, chocolate contains stearic acid, which is a neutral fat that does not increase bad cholesterol (LDL). Also, the cocoa butter in chocolate contains oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fat. This is the same type of fat found in olive oil that may actually raise good cholesterol (HDL).

Lucy at the Chocolate FactoryWill eating chocolate make me fat?

It can—if you eat enough of it. Chocolate, especially milk chocolate, is high in calories. In fact, it was once prescribed to help fatten up patients suffering from wasting diseases like tuberculosis. However, some people claim that drinking a cup of hot chocolate before a meal actually diminishes their appetite. One researcher at the Aromocology Patch Co. Ltd. even experimented with helping patients lose weight by having them sniff a chocolate-scented patch whenever they were tempted to snack!

Does chocolate contain any nutrients?

Yes, it does, in small amounts. A 1.5-ounce milk chocolate bar contains recommended daily values of the following vitamins and minerals:

  • • 3 grams of protein
  • • 15% of the Daily Value of riboflavin
  • • 9% of the Daily Value for calcium
  • • 7% of the Daily Value for iron

And if you add nuts like almonds or peanuts into the mix, you increase all of the amounts of nutrients listed above.

Old ManWill I live longer if I eat chocolate?

Perhaps. A Harvard University study found that men who ate chocolate lived one year longer than those who didn’t. Scientists think that chocolate contains chemicals that help keep blood vessels elastic and increase beneficial antioxidants in the bloodstream, but research is under way and no conclusive results have been found.

Many people eat chocolate when they are sad or feeling down. Others crave the stuff, claiming they are addicted to chocolate’s unique taste and smell. Some even assert that chocolate can relax you, help you lose weight, and even prolong your life.

Scientists from many different institutions and organizations have conducted a number of studies on chocolate in recent years in order to sort through these claims. What they have discovered will not only surprise you, but may forever change the way you think about, buy, and eat chocolate.

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Can Choclatique’s Q-91 be a Cure for What Ails You?

Monday, April 19th, 2010

— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique

This week, Spanish medical researchers reported that chocolate may be good medicine for patients with severe liver disease. Those Spaniards must have known something very early on know since they’re the ones who first brought chocolate to Europe from the New World in the Americas.

Dr. Mark ThurszReuters of London was all abuzz about comments made by Dr. Mark Thursz, a professor of hepatology at London’s Imperial College, when he said, “This new study shows a clear association between eating dark chocolate and (lower) portal hypertension and demonstrates the potential importance of improvements in the management of cirrhotic patients with chocolate.” Cocoa, rich in dark chocolate and low in sugar, could be prescribed for people with liver cirrhosis in the future. This is yet another new study among a body of research to demonstrate the amazing potential health benefits of chocolate.

liver cirrhosisThe Spanish researchers said that eating dark chocolate capped the usual after-meal rise in abdominal blood pressure, which can reach dangerous levels in cirrhotic patients and, in severe cases, lead to blood vessel rupture. Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver as a result of long-term damage. It is caused by various factors, including hepatitis infection and alcohol abuse.

Found in cocoa, antioxidants called flavanols are believed to be the reason why chocolate is so good for the control of blood pressure because the chemicals help the smooth muscle cells of the blood vessels to relax and widen.

A study of 21 patients with end-stage liver disease found that those given a meal containing 85% cacao dark chocolate had a markedly smaller rise in blood pressure in the liver—or portal hypertension—than those given white chocolate.

The results were presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver in Vienna and follow a number of earlier scientific studies suggesting that dark chocolate also promotes heart health.

Q-91At Choclatique, we have developed a great-tasting chocolate low in sugar and high in antioxidants, called Q-91. Choclatique’s Q-91 is a uniquely complex blend of several different cacao beans from each of the major cacao growing regions around the world. With the first taste, you will discover that the rich, natural flavors of ripe cherry and deep chocolate foreshadow complex layers of tart citrus, red fruit and nutty notes held up by a solid chocolate base.

Even though Choclatique’s Q-91 tastes great, it still contains alkaloids such as theobromine and phenethylamine, which are said to have positive physiological effects on the mind and health benefits for the body. Dark chocolate like Q-91 has been linked to increased serotonin levels in the brain because it includes a substantial amount of antioxidants that reduce the formation of free radicals and lessen the effects of many diseases and aging.

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Confessions of a Chocoholic

Friday, December 18th, 2009

— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique

I have a friend who is a call-in radio psychologist. We have been carrying on an internet “affair” about the fantasies of chocolate. Oh, you thought this was going to be another one of those Tiger Wood confession’s stories, didn’t you?

This is my “Dear Doctor” letter for the day.

Dear Doc:

When I was a younger man I was a motion picture and television designer and director. I think most of the ladies liked me because of my artistic “talent” and “good looks” or it could have been because they thought I might be able to get them a part in one of my productions. Mind you, I never took advantage of the situation, but it was fun to fantasize about.

Today, as an older, more mature gentleman my thoughts have turned to food and my fantasies have turned to chocolate. You may think that I have thoughts of painting a beautiful Victoria Secret model with dark chocolate body paint or sharing a milk chocolate bath with some luscious babe, but for me these days it’s about the aroma of this mysterious elixir that seems to drive everyone around me crazy.

You see, “I love the smell of ‘Chocolate’ in the morning.” Borrowing the line (I believe he said “napalm”) from Robert Duvall in “Apocalypse Now” that’s the way I start my day each morning. This morning I was particularly tempted while starting up the milk chocolate tempering kettles to consume the entire batch. The smell was so overwhelming that I dipped a tasting spoon into the 100 pound pot and took a morning hit of our Prestige Milk Chocolate followed a few tablespoons blended with warm milk. This is so much more rewarding than a cup of hot cocoa—after all, it’s Choclatique chocolate. Prestige Milk Chocolate is a special blend of only 5—ingredients cacao mass, cocoa butter, pure vanilla, sugar and real milk—not the powdered milk that most of the other chocolate companies use. What a wonderful, natural high… a hot, thick steamy milk chocolate beverage at 7:30 in the morning!

So, as you can see, my fantasies have turned from beautiful women (movie stars and models) to that of the rich, wonderful aroma (and taste) of freshly melted milk chocolate.

It’s really tough to get old; is there any hope for me or am I forever hopeless?


Dear “Hopeless:”

I say this with my best bed-side manner. Age is simply a state of mind. You are only as old as you feel. Today’s 60 is yesterday’s 40. Okay, I have given you all the “feel good” clichés. What do you want me to tell you? It sucks to get old. Learn to live with it and enjoy your daily hit of chocolate—that may be all you get. And, believe me, you will enjoy it. Here’s why:

Chocolate contains a variety of substances. These include:

  • • Sugar—some chocolates (as opposed to Cocoa) contain higher amounts of sugar than others.
  • • Theobromine—various theobromines are present. Theobromine is chemically similar to caffeine and is a light stimulus.
  • • Anandamide—an endogenous cannabinoid which is also naturally produced in the Human brain and gives you a sexy, feel good feeling.
  • • Tryptophan—an essential amino acid that is a precursor to Serotonin, an important neurotransmitter involved in regulating and elevating moods.
  • • Phenylethylamine—a Neurotransmitter from which amphetamine is derived. Often described as a ‘love chemical.’ It is quickly metabolised by monoamine oxidase, so it has little effect on the central nervous system, but sure makes you feel like you are falling in love.

All of these and another 300 chemical substances make you feel really great, sexy, energized, YOUNG and in love. So, who needs anything else when you can fantasize about chocolate?

Sweet dreams,

Doc

There are some many wonderful milk chocolate choices to choose from for the holidays starting with Choclatique’s Milk Chocolate Boutique, Collection and Indulgence (8-, 15- and 30-piece box assortments), Choclatique’s Prestige Milk Chocolate Tablets and Tapestries and Choclatique’s Milk Chocolate Foil-Wrapped Easter Eggs.

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