As some of us know chocolate is derived from the cacao bean which grows in pod-like fruits on the tropical cacao tree called the “Theobroma”. Although there are four major types of cacao trees grown throughout the world (the Forastero, Criollo, Trinitario, and Nacional) a very large percentage of the beans are cultivated in Africa.
There are a few myths associated with the consumption of chocolate, however, I am not here to confirm or deny any of them.
I have heard in detail that dark chocolate is supposedly rich in minerals, high in antioxidants, naturally possessing the good fat (the cocoa butter that is found in the cacao beans), cuts the risk of cardiovascular problems, has properties that reduce stress, relieve cough, relieve diarrhea, boost intelligence, and that prevent diabetes and give protection from the sun due to flavonoids. The nitric oxide production increase is said to contribute to the drop in insulin resistance among some.
I’ve also heard a few other things that I am not sold on. Such as, the chocolate being responsible for expectant mothers able to better handle their stress during their pregnancy. And as a bonus they delivered happier children. And supposedly, in general, chocolate stopped the cravings for particular foods that were fattening, therefore aiding in a method of proper weight loss.
Now for the negative side. Chocolate is regarded by some as containing a very high caffeine content. A cause of migraine headaches, hyperactivity, tooth decay, and acne. And there are those who disagree with these claims, declaring that they are untrue.
I know myself that there are millions and billions of people out there in the world and everyone will not always be medically, mentally, emotionally, and physically affected in the same way as that of another person. Not everyone will come into agreement in regards to certain matters. And that is natural and logical.
We are all different. So are our bodies. None of our constitutions are exactly alike.
As a young child, before I hit my teens, I loved chocolate. I was a chocoholic. It was my favorite flavor. And I just could not get enough of those delicious tasting Hershey candy bars.
Now and then my mother would bake her own homemade chocolate chip cookies from scratch. I’d delightfully eat up pieces of the morsels that she’d position into the malleable roundly shaped cookie dough.
On my birthdays my mother always purchased yellow cakes with chocolate icing until I started requesting for all chocolate desserts for my special occasion.
A time came when my little body would be in the bed balled up in the fetal position, suffering from a very severe and terrible pain. The degree of pain was really unbearable. And it happened a couple of times more before my mother eventually took me to a doctor.
The doctor told my mother that the cause of my illness was due to my consumption of chocolate and coca cola. And that I should refrain from eating and drinking these products.
My mother and I did heed the doctor’s advice. Though later on as I grew older I fell into temptation and I began to consume the chocolate and coca cola again, knowing that I was not suppose to. However, by the time I had entered into my early teens I stopped completely.
The results have been grand, especially since that is the time when I became a serious vegetarian. I did not, and I still do not crave or desire the taste of soda or chocolate. A complete change had come over me.
I know that chocolate is naturally a vegetarian food but it is a substance that does not at all agree with me. And all of the additives that go into preparing chocolate during manufacture to enhance taste and texture just makes the product very unhealthy.
Peanuts are a natural food that I love and enjoy eating. Peanuts are in the “Legume” family. They come from a leguminous plant, which also have fruits that are in the form of pods.
There are two type of legumes. The immature, and the mature ones. Peas and green beans are immature legumes since they are harvested before they mature on the plant.The dried seeds that are found inside the pods that hang from stems of particular plants are the mature legumes.
Pinto beans, black eyed beans, red beans and black beans-all of which I love-have high nutrient properties. Nutrients that include selenium, magnesium, folate and antioxidants. Legumes are very rich in antioxidants.
They are also an excellent source of protein as we know for a fact that we can gain from peanuts. They are low in fat and are a great source of fiber, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, iron and zinc just like potatoes.
So peanuts outdo chocolate in a nutshell.
Now as peanuts are a delight to me they are also a danger to certain others because of the allergic reactions that some may have from eating them.
I know that I definitely cannot eat walnuts. I get sick almost immediately after ingesting them. I get a severe pain that travels down to my backside. I’ve even vomited on account of the walnuts that I ate. We must take precaution because as we know, some food allergies are life threatening.
I remember talking to a paramedic who’d arrived to my home one day to see if I needed to go to the hospital. As a usual procedure he asked if I was allergic to anything. I told him that a doctor told me to stay away from chocolate and coca cola when I was a child.
His words were “It probably was that caffeine”.
I am not a large fan of caffeine. And that is the reason why I do not drink tea unless it is caffeine free, like herbal teas. I love the cinnamon apple flavored. I use to enjoy the decaffeinated black tea by Lipton-It tastes so great with milk-but there is still small amounts of caffeine hidden in there. When something is decaffeinated residue is always left behind.
I don’t like the way caffeine keeps me up if I drink enough of it. I could be wanting to go to sleep and then unable to. And it does give me a headache in the process.
The best bet is to stick with what naturally does not contain any caffeine if one is particular about their concerns.
A thing that I personally noticed about tea is that it fills me up. It takes away hunger. I don’t know if it is the combination of tea and sugar or what. Those who want to diet may consider using tea as a method for possibly controlling their appetite to lose weight. One never knows it just might work for some.
There are so many delicious ways to use peanuts. I have roasted them in their raw state, and spread them on my whole wheat breads in their smoothed out state. I eat them along with their peanut butter in granola bars, cracker snacks, cookies and sometimes just with a spoon.
What a pleasure it is when we know that what we love to eat also serves to us a high nutritional value.The peanut butter taste is so rich with deep good flavor.