Chocolates and Coca Cola
Yes to chocolates but no to cola is my motto!
This is the message that I should bring to the young and the old.
First, with some personal experiences of us as young parents in UK and the encounter we had with coca cola. My children were addicted to cola and my British colleague who opened my eyes to the addictiveness of (derivative of cocaine) cola drink and its (natural permitted ingredients) constituents.
That made me to do some search on the cola leaf.
Even, the tiny bit of coca extract in the syrup has cocaine and it continued to be an ingredient in the syrup in order to protect the trade name "Coca-Cola" for a long time so that the company became a house hold name in Americas.
Things have changed significantly but during the promotional campaigns, I have reason to believe the promoters increase the concentration of the syrup so that some would get addicted to the brand name.
That much is enough for cola and the Americanism and their market principles.
Now Bolivians are asking for free franchise of cocaine as a national industry.
Now to the cocoa nut.
Whenever, I get a new job abroad and whenever, I have a friendly discussion over the dinner table I always raise the issue that the westerners have a sweet tooth and eating chocolates is bad for two reasons.
One is because of the sugar content and the other my own Sri-Lankan secret invention (my April fool, long before the April fool's day) of cocoa.
I tell them in a very scientific way, that we suck the seeds of cocoa before drying them on sunlight. The scientific secret is that the digestive enzymes in our saliva digest the outer coat in such a way to get the best quality cocoa to be produced in Sri-Lanka for export.
I do not think any cocoa trees left (imported from Africa) in this country.
And I go on to say we have hepatitis in Sri-Lanka and it is risky to eat chocolates. Whenever they offer me chocolates I flatly refuse the offer reminding of them of hepatitis.
This is the way, I take my turn for the rigmarole that I have to go through of all the vaccinations and medical check ups whenever I get a new job abroad and before commencing work.
Little they suspect that it is a made up story and I go onto say that during coca cola campaigns the company imports a special brand of essence from America that the company chairman himself prepares it in his private bath. I go onto say the essence is put in the tub and the chairman does the tempering with his feet (like vine making) and the real taste of coco cola is from the sweat of the his feet.
I go on to say the sweat he shed for his company is phenomenal judging by the company's sale figures.
This is something, I got from Arthur Buchwald’s writing and a slight hint for my friends that there is some exaggeration and pun involved in my scientific story (if they have had read him sometimes).
Arthur "Art" Buchwald (October 20, 1925 – January 17, 2007) was an American humorist best known for his long-running column in The Washington Post, which in turn was carried as a syndicated column in many other newspapers. His column focused on political satire and commentary. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Outstanding Commentary in 1982 and in 1986 was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
So within a week I put them off of two of their favorite food items.
I have taken my revenge for the extra medical checks they have gone through myself and my family every time we go out.
No wonder I have not gone out for a long time now.
For about three month I carry on this ploy religiously and in due course I get caught eating chocolates somewhere in a supermarket or an open place.
YOU are a cheat and I find YOU eat chocolates, surreptitiously.
I would say this is a special brand and it is hermetically (I don't understand the meaning of the word) prepared or something similar so as to avoid getting caught.
Finally, I bare open, the truth when enough people start suspecting me.
Then I buy them loads of chocolates for being good sport.
The chocolates and a sample of its virtues is given below.
Properties of Cocoa
Pick your choice and enjoy chocolates in the festival time of April.
All chocolate is made from powdered cocoa beans usually mixed with some kind of sugar, some butter or lard or vegetable oils, some milk products, and various other ingredients. While you may have heard that chocolate is "bad for you", it is not the cocoa that is unhealthy, but the other ingredients in the kinds of chocolate made from refined sugar combined with various kinds of cheap animal fats like lard, or cheap and unhealthy hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Cocoa -The Super Healthy Fruit
Cocoa beans come from the fruit of a tree which grows in tropical rain forests. The official scientific name of the cocoa tree is Theobroma Cacao. "Theobroma" is Latin for "food of the gods".
Strictly speaking, cocoa is a nut, the seed of a fruit, but is most commonly called cocoa beans, cocoa seeds, cocoa nuts, chocolate seeds, chocolate beans, or cocoa nibs.
Cocoa may also be spelled as "cacao" and pronounced "ka-cow". All of these terms refer to the dried fruit or nuts of the cacao tree and the most popular term, cocoa beans.
Cocoa beans contain over 300 chemically identifiable compounds.
This makes cocoa one of the most complex food substances.
Chocolate consumption represents one percent of the American diet, yet most Americans have never tasted "real" chocolate -the natural cocoa bean in its raw form.
When healthy and high quality natural ingredients are used, it is possible to make a "healthy chocolate" from natural cocoa beans. Or one can simply sprinkle crushed cocoa beans onto whipped cream, ice cream, puddings, or other desserts for a natural chocolate flavor from the original "chocolate chips".
The raw cocoa beans taste like unsweetened dark chocolate.
Next to raw cocoa, it is unsweetened and dairy free dark chocolate that is the healthiest chocolate; while the least healthy chocolate is milk chocolate which includes dairy products and refined sugar and possibly hydrogenated oils or lard.
Studies indicate that dairy products block the absorption of the many antioxidants found naturally in cocoa and dark chocolate!
How Healthy Is Dark Chocolate?
Cocoa beans and organic dark chocolate are one of the best food sources of this heart supporting minerals, magnesium.
Cocoa is a potent source of serotonin, dopamine, and phenylethylamine. These are three well known neurotransmitters which help alleviate depression and are associated with feelings of wellbeing.
Cocoa contains monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAO Inhibitors) which help improve our mood because they allow serotonin and dopamine to remain in the bloodstream longer without being broken down. Cocoa also contains amandamide which stimulates blissful feelings.
Cocoa also contains B vitamins, which are associated with brain health.
Antioxidants in Dark Chocolate
Scientists have known for years that cocoa contains significant amount of antioxidants, but no one knew just how rich they were in comparison to those found in two other healthy foods, red wine and green tea.
Recent research has demonstrated that the antioxidants found in cocoa beans are highly stable and easily available to the human metabolism. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and keep them from damaging the DNA and mitochondria of the body's cells, which is a major cause of many degenerative diseases, cancer and premature aging.
By comparison, 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate delivers as many antioxidants as five ounces of red wine.
That makes cocoa one of the richest sources of antioxidants in any food.
The liqueured chocolates is a bonus with vasodilator properties of alcohol added to the antioxidant effects.
Compare the cocoa bean to processed cocoa powder (defatted and roasted cocoa beans treated with potassium carbonate) and chocolates -which range in flavonol content from the more common concentration of 500mg per 100 grams in normal chocolate bars -to a concentration of 5,000 milligrams in some commercial preparations.
Theobromine and Caffeine
Cocoa can substantially increase a person's energy level, since it contains two stimulating methylxanthines -a significant amount of theobromine and a small amount of caffeine.
A cup of hot chocolate usually contains about 4 to 5 milligrams of caffeine, which is about 5% of the caffeine found in a cup of coffee.
A cup of coffee may contain 50 to 175mg of caffeine, a cup of tea may contain 25 to 100mg, and a cup of cocoa beverage may contain zero to 25 milligrams of caffeine.
Can Chocolate Help Us Be Happy?
We have all heard how chocolate can be a "comfort food" to help us cope with stress and depression and general unhappiness. There might actually be some connection between chocolate and happiness, when we look at certain chemicals which are found naturally in the cocoa bean and which affect parts of the brain.
Chocolate as an Aphrodisiac
The peoples of Central American in the pre-Columbian era often spoke in metaphors composed of words or phrases which had a hidden meaning when uttered in sequence. This is common in many languages, including English. One of these ancient metaphors was yollotl, eztli, meaning "heart, blood," -a phrase which referred to cocoa.
Chocolate is the heart's "blood" due to its magnesium, antioxidants, love chemicals and esoteric properties.
Chocolate truly is "food for the heart".
Chocolate is a symbol of sensuality, pleasure, and sexuality.
Some writers have claimed that 50 per cent of women actually prefer chocolate to sex!
That percentage might even rise if the women were offered real chocolate in the form of organic cocoa!
Chocolate is a favorite gift from a lover to the beloved one.
Chocolates are always given as love offerings.
A box of chocolates is one of the most popular gifts for Valentine's Day. Cocoa, because it is natural and unadulterated, has an even stronger love energy than manufactured chocolate candy.
In ancient Aztec wedding ceremonies, the bride and groom would exchange five cocoa beans with each other.