By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
Ever wonder if chocolate can cure health ailments and cosmetic problems? It can! I'll describe 10 uses for some common woes, from A to Z, and provide amazing but different chocolate folk remedies for each Chocolate Rx--straight from The Healing Powers of Chocolate (Kensington, 2010)--which includes dozens of chocolate home cures. So, take two chocolates (or sip a coffee mocha) and call me in the morning.
1 ACHES AND PAINS
What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try eating an ounce (or two) of dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa content to lessen sugar intake) or drinking a cup of hot dark chocolate once a day during a bout of pain. Also, teaming this remedy with aerobic exercise (such as walking or swimming) can help loosen tight muscles and improve symptoms of pain. A soothing Jacuzzi is also helpful for achy muscles.
Why You'll Like It: Chocolate is rich in magnesium, a mineral that can help both muscle pain and stress. Both exercise and hydrotherpy paired with dark chocolate (it includes endorphins--natural painkillers in your body that act on the nervous system to alleviate pain).
What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try drinking a cup of hot chocolate (unsweetened cocoa with organic milk) or bar infused with plenty of essential vitamins and minerals.
Why You'll Like It: While anyone suffering from anorexia should consult a doctor, adding multivitamins, minerals, herbs, an healthy food high in complex carbs may provide help in dealing with this eating disorder. Functional foods, like dark chocolate, chock-full of healthful mood-boosting compounds, can be beneficial for the mind, body, and spirit.
3 BONE LOSS
What Chocolate Rx to Use: Team chocolate with other bone builders, including magnesium, manganese, and calcium-rich milk. Each day opt for a cup of chocolate milk or a chocolate shake (low-fat if you're counting calories).
Why You'll Like It: Magnesium is great for beating bone loss, as well as calcium absorption. You need manganese, another bone-boosting mineral, to maintain bone cartilage and bone collagen formation. A bonus tip: Drink your energizing chocolate shake before or afgter exercise. Weight-bearing exercise (such as lifting free weights) can also keep your bones strong.
4 BRAIN FOG
What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try two squares of dark chocolate or exotic truffles found from chocolatiers like Lake Champlain Chocolates. Repeat as needed in moderation.
Why You'll Like It: A chocolate square (especially infused with spices, herbs, and fruit) is convenient, quick, and it works. So whether you have a test or a mental task to tend to , wouldn't it be fun to enjoy something that is good for you as well as tastes superb?
What Chocolate Rx to Use: Chocolate recipes, from breakfast muffins, cocoa pasta, fudge and lava cake, can help zap mood swings.
Why You'll Like It: Not only will youg get a serotonin boost (a hormone that may be lacking often during cold, dark winter days), but the monounsaturated fat from both chocolate and olive oil (used in baked goods with chocolate) may help lift your spirits so you'll not be such a crab.
What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try a half-cup serving of Mexican or Sicilian mole, complete with spices, such as cayenne, chili paired with antioxidant-rich, immune-boosting onions, garlic--and chocolate. Serve over whole-wheat pasta or brown rice. Note: Dark chocolate infused with chili spice is a treat that will suffice, too.
Why You'll Like It: Hot spices help unblock sinuses. Hot foods stimulate nasal secretions and loosen up unwanted muscus.
7 SLUGGISH (Athletic lack of energy)
What Chocolate Rx to Use: Drink a cup of brewed coffee mocha before you perform your physical performance.
Why You'll Like It: Athletes are all too familiar with the energetic buzz linked to the properties of quality chocolate and java. Not only does it enhance energy, but it also curbs distracting hunger pangs before participating in a physical event. And yes, brewed coffee contains caffeine (about 85 milligrams pwer 8-ounce mug), much more than chocolate (1 ounce of semi-sweet dark chocolate contains about 20 milligrams of caffeine).
8 UNIVERSAL EMERGENCY
What Chocolate Rx to Use: Put chocolate bars, unsweetened cocoa powders, pistoles, and enhanced healthy chocolate cookies in an airtight container, and store these chocolate lifesavers with your emergency supplies.
Why You'll Like It: If you are waiting for a tornado to hit or miss, having chocolate can uplift your spirits, calm your nerves, and keep your mind alert. If disaster hits, such as an earthquake or flood to power outage, chocolate in easy to eat form will be a godsend as you cope with the disaster or rejoice that you got through it.
9 WATER RETENTION
What Chocolate Rx to Use: Both morning and night, drink an 8-ounce glass or cup of dark chocolate with a 70 percent cocoa content and/or try chocolate fondue with fresh fruits--strawberries and apples. Team this with drinking six to eight glasses of water, and fresh vegetables or juices. Plus, take a multivitamin mineral supplement.
Why You'll Like It: This chocolate and bloat-busting fresh produce/water cure boasts an all-natural diuretic effect. You can follow this remedy for one or two days and this will help your cells release retained water.
10 YOUTHFULNESS, WANT TO FEEL YOUNGER FOREVER?
What Chocolate Rx to Use: Run, do not walk, to your nearest health spa and order a pampering, youth-boosting antiaging treatment, such as a chocolate bubble bath.
Why You'll Like It: Pampering your body also takes care of your spirit. Plus, the Bella Lucce Chocolate in a spa bath includes anti-aging antioxidants so your skin will feel smooth and rejuvenated to the touch. Or you can use the chocolate beauty treatment in the comfort of your home. No matter what age you are, this is a healthful and soothing trick to feed your senses and ageless soul.