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The Healing Powers of Chocolate

The Healing Powers of Chocolate

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The Healing Powers of Chocolate

2/5 (8 evaluări)
494 pages
13 hours
Mar 1, 2012


From the author of The Healing Powers of Vinegar, a guide to the health benefits of chocolate, featuring recipes and remedies.

Did you know?... Known as Mother Nature’s “food of the gods,” the medicinal benefits of chocolate were recognized as far back as 4,000 years ago. Eating chocolate can help boost the immune system, lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes—even obesity—and increase lifespan. A 1.5-ounce bar of quality chocolate has as much antioxidant power as a 5-ounce glass of wine—without the side effects of alcohol. Chocolate is chock-full of mood-enhancing ingredients, including phenylethylamine (the “love drug”) and serotonin. Chocolate can relieve a host of ailments, including depression, fatigue, pain, and PMS, as well as rev up your sex drive!

Drawing on the latest scientific research as well as interviews with medical doctors and chocolatiers, this fascinating book reveals how to live longer and healthier while indulging in one of nature’s most decadent and versatile foods. Explore real chocolate (infused with fruits, herbs, and spices), Mediterranean-style, heart-healthy recipes, plus home remedies that combat everything from acne to anxiety. You’ll also discover rejuvenating beauty and anti-aging spa treatments—all made with antioxidant-rich chocolate!

“Can dark chocolate boost brain power? This book shows you how regular intake of antioxidant-rich cacao foods is likely to do just that, and more.” —Ray Sahelian, MD, author of Mind Boosters

Mar 1, 2012

Despre autor

Cal Orey, M.A., is an accomplished author and journalist. She has a master’s degree in English from San Francisco State University, and for three decades has written hundreds of articles for national and international magazines. She specializes in topics such as health, beauty, nutrition, relationships, science, and pets. Her books include The Healing Powers of Vinegar, The Healing Powers of Olive Oil, The Healing Powers of Coffee, The Healing Powers of Honey, The Healing Powers of Chocolate, The Healing Powers of Tea, The Healing Powers of Superfoods, 202 Pets’ Peeves, and Doctors’ Orders. She lives in northern California. Readers are invited to visit her website at www.calorey.com, read her blog The Writing Gourmet at calorey.blogspot.com, find her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.  

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The Healing Powers of Chocolate - Cal Orey





The Power of Chocolate

The superiority of chocolate, both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain.

—Thomas Jefferson

I remember my bags were packed and ready to go to France, Italy, and Spain—countries touted for chocolate—in the spring of 1962 when I was 10 years old. I was excited to experience real hot cocoa and rich chocolate cakes like Marie Antoinette is depicted making in a vintage Parisian poster. I heard my mother talk about trying Sicilian mole and chocolate mousse in an ancient restaurant in Madrid. I tried to imagine smelling and tasting Italian chocolates in a Roman chocolate shop. I’d love to share a genuine, nostalgic chocolate lover’s trip of yesteryear with you, but I cannot do that. Why?

The truth is, I didn’t go to Europe. However, my mom, a hardworking legal secretary, was treated to a trip abroad by her boss, an attorney, who rewarded her with a round-trip ticket to chocolate paradise. And I stayed home in San Jose, California.

There I was, for three weeks, in our house in the suburbs with my two siblings, father, and Dalmatian, Casey. Cocoa, candy bars, and chocolate milk shakes comforted me and were part of our American diet while Mom was living the good life in Europe, a place where people ate chocolate, the good stuff. But she did bring home tales full of sensory details of exotic and wonderful meals at bistros, and a large, picturesque restaurant menu chock-full of French chocolate delights with titles that I could not pronounce.

That was 47 years ago, and today I can still find myself pondering about visiting quaint European bistros and cafés that create to-die-for chocolates and coffee. Countless people, like me, are fascinated and captivated by the power of chocolate in Europe and other countries around the world, past and present.

Today, as a nature-loving baby boomer who teams health and indulgence while living and working in the Sierra at South Lake Tahoe, I was thrilled to rediscover that Northern California, especially the San Francisco Bay Area, my native home, is a hot spot for chocolate lovers.












Chocolate has been praised by people—foodies and health nuts—in Northern California and around the world as one of Mother Nature’s foods, especially dark chocolate. And now, chocolate shops and bars—and an array of quality chocolate in all forms, flavors, and types—are making the news around the globe and are popular in restaurants, beauty spas, and even our homes.

People from all walks of life, from the West Coast to the East Coast and Europe—including some chocolate makers and contemporary medical experts—believe chocolate helps keep blood pressure down as well as heart disease at bay. Chocolate is also known to help curb cravings, to stave off overindulging in junk food, which can lead to excess pounds and body fat.

Leading scientists on health and nutrition point out in countless studies that research shows dark chocolate contains the same disease-fighting phenols, the same protective compounds that are found in red wine, fruits, and vegetables that fight heart disease.

The author of the national best-seller French Women Don’t Get Fat (Vintage Books) praises chocolate, too. "French women eat chocolate (about twelve pounds a year on average). They also eat bread (we fought a revolution over it!). But: French women don’t get fat."¹

SuperFoods HealthStyle (Harper) author Steven G. Pratt, M.D., a world-renowned authority on nutrition, writes in his book: Dark chocolate is a SuperFood. For many of us, this is a dream come true. The interesting thing is that many people have told me that once they think of chocolate as a food that’s beneficial to health, even though they still love and enjoy it, because it’s no longer ‘forbidden,’ they’re somehow less tempted to gorge on it.²

And thank goodness forbidden is a word that no longer applies to chocolate—one of my longtime favorite foods. Approximately 4,000 years ago, in Central America, the Mayan Indians held cocoa beans, the fruit of the cocoa tree, as Mother Nature’s food of the gods, because of its medicinal benefits. Later, it became tagged a taboo fatty food. By the late 20th century, a twist of fate turned chocolate back into a health food. And these days, in the 21st century, stacks and stacks of studies show nutrient-rich chocolate is good for the body.

Health-Boosting Polyphenols in Dark Chocolate

Medical researchers around the world continue to find new health-promoting nutrients—there are believed to be at least 300 to 400—in chocolate. Most important, like red wine, green tea, and certain fruits and vegetables, cocoa contains polyphenols, naturally occurring compounds that act as powerful antioxidants (disease-fighting enzymes that protect your body by trapping free-radical molecules and getting rid of them before damage occurs).

One and a half ounces of chocolate boasts the same amount of phenols as a five-ounce glass of red wine, according to Andrew Waterhouse, Ph.D., a researcher at the University of California, Davis.³

Research also shows that eating antioxidant-rich foods, including cocoa and dark chocolate, may prevent and even reverse heart disease and some forms of cancer and may stall the aging process. Science continues to find new cutting-edge health-promoting nutrients in certain SuperFoods, and these are discovered in dark chocolate:

Catechin: a powerful polyphenol that acts as an antioxidant and can help strengthen immune responses. Cocoa nibs (the meat of the cocoa bean) are an excellent source.

Epicatechin: a smaller flavonol that is found in cocoa beans that may help stave off heart disease and diabetes.

Flavonoids: powerful disease fighters that may help to fight viruses, allergies, carcinogens, and inflammation. In addition, these superantioxidants may help to reduce your cholesterol level and prevent oxidation of the bad LDL cholesterol.

Flavanols and Flavonols: a group of plant compounds (from flavonoids, a large group of phytonutrients) that can be found in cocoa that have shown antioxidant effects that may help lower the risk of developing heart disease, some forms of cancer, and diabetes. Both flavanols and flavonols can be found in cocoa and chocolate.

Proanthocyanidin: a flavonoid abundant in grapes and dark chocolate containing more than 70 percent cocoa.

Resveratrol : a compound that may have anticancer properties. It may also have substances that can protect against heart disease.

Tannins: nutrients that may help inhibit the plaque obstructions that cause heart attacks and strokes.

(Sources: The Healing Powers of Olive Oil and The Healing Powers of Vinegar.)

Chocolate with % Cocoa Content

Keep in mind, if you’re a health-conscious person like I am, you’ll quickly ask, Which chocolate has the highest cocoa content? The popularity of premium and specialty chocolates is skyrocketing in the United States, and consumers are noticing the percentage of cacao (pronounced ka-cow, the second syllable like the animal) or cocoa—the two words are used interchangeably—on the labels of many products, from bars to cocoa beverages. So what gives?

Simply put, this percentage refers to the total content of ingredients derived from the cacao (or cocoa) bean. This includes chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder.

So what do you do if you’re on a mission to get a chocolate that is disease-fighting polyphenol-rich? These days, the labeling of chocolate claims the percentage of cocoa content, which can range from 33 percent to 100 percent: 33 percent, 55 percent, 65 percent, 70 percent, 77 percent, and 100 percent. According to the National Confectioners Association, % cacao may suggest several other characteristics of chocolate: A high % cacao means more cacao bean–derived ingredients; therefore, less added sugar. Since a higher % cacao means more cacao bean–related ingredients, this generally means a more intense chocolate flavor. And there’s more.

While it’s the disease-fighting antioxidants in dark chocolate that both makers and consumers care about, good-tasting chocolate is important, too. These healthful compounds are linked with nonfat cocoa solids, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder. And, the amount of nonfat solids in a chocolate can vary a lot, depending on its recipe. The selection, handling, and processing of cacao beans also play a part in flavonal content. This, in turn, means % cacao may not always indicate the antioxidant content of chocolates or guarantee great taste.

Another interesting note I discovered about quality chocolate is that the higher % in cocoa content tends to be harsher, more bitter, and stronger flavored. It is not as sweet and mellow as milk chocolate. And as with other healthful foods, such as extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, it sometimes takes a while to acquire a taste for real chocolate. And once you get there, it is hard to turn back to a mass-market milk chocolate candy bar versus a prestige gourmet 65 percent cacao dark chocolate truffle (especially one infused with herbs, spices, or fruit).






Chocolate, one of the oldest foods, comes from the fruit of the cacao tree—native to South America and Central America and now mostly grown in West Africa. Coined theobroma, Greek for food of the gods by the Swede Carolus Linnaeus, it has been used since Aztec times as a medicinal agent for dozens of ailments.

These days, cacao beans are grown in several West African countries, South America, the Caribbean, Indonesia, and Hawaii. There are believed to be three chocolate bean varieties used by makers of chocolate. For centuries, scientists and chocolate experts, such as the Dagoba Organic Chocolate company, have noted that chocolate came from three types of cacao: Criollo, which is prized and rare and has thin, light-colored pods and amazing aromas; Forastero, which is more plentiful and has thick pods and pungent flavor; and Trinitario (a hybrid of Criollo and Forastero), which has good aromatic flavor and is easily grown.

But recently, a study led by Mars, Inc., has shown that there are really 10 genetic groups of the chocolate group—Marañon, Curaray, Criollo, Iquitos, Nanay, Contamana, Amelonado, Purús, Nacional, and Guiana—which may help improve cacao taste as well as boost variety, plus increase the trees’ immunity to diseases and keep the cost down due to erratic weather conditions, which can destroy a harvest, which may result in slimmer pickings.


(Source: National Confectioners Association.)








The time and tender loving care put into nature’s beans to make quality chocolate is a multiple-step process that contributes to the morphing of cacao beans into chocolate.

While the bulk of chocolate manufacturing is done outside the United States, Scharffen Berger, in Berkeley, California, for one (there are several major manufacturers in America), is known for its fine dark chocolate—made from bean to bar. (The Berkeley factory and store closed in 2009, but is still owned by Hershey, who purchased it in 2005.) My friend, Michelle McHardy, a magazine editor, attended the company’s factory tour. She dishes out the details of the amazing creation, which she observed with her own two eyes:

Cleaning Cacao Beans. The fruit grows on the trunk of the tree, making it low to the ground and easy to pick. And the bean cleaner removes dust to twigs from the cacao beans before they are roasted.... The seeds are small compared to the fruit and taste terrible. The fruit is harvested; the seeds and surrounding pulp are fermented and then the seeds are dried. We were shown a basket of seeds that had been fermented, which are about the size of an almond. You could still see some of the fermented fruit on the beans and they smelled a lot like vinegar. We were warned not to taste the beans; they are still terrible at this point. Next we were shown a basket with beans that had been dried. The dried seeds had brittle shells, were much lighter in weight, and smelled a little better than the first sample. Still, it did not smell like chocolate and they were not something I wanted to try. The third basket we were shown were the nibs, or what is left over after the seeds have been roasted and crushed. Now, finally, they smelled like chocolate.

It’s Roasting Time. Once the purchased cacao seeds are cleaned, they are placed in the roaster to be roasted.

Cracking the Shell. The third step is into the winnower, which cracks the bean into smaller pieces called nibs. At the same time, the cocoa dust and shells are sucked away and discarded.

Grinding the Dark Stuff. Next is the mélangeur (a French word that means mixer/grinder), which grinds and crushes the nibs ... causing the cacao butter to be released.

Mixing It Up. And it was time to observe the conche refiner, where the ingredients for a particular recipe are added; this includes additional cacao butter, sugar, vanilla, and soy lecithin (an emulsifier—a compound that is added to make all the ingredients blend together). The conche refiner is circular and has blades and teeth that mix everything together, creating a chocolate in liquid form. Due to the heat created by the machine, its top is encased with a jacket of cold water. The mix remains in the conche for 40–60 hours, depending on the recipe.

The Cooling-Heating Spin. Then the chocolate is moved to the holding tanks/agitators that keep it warm while awaiting its journey to the tempering units. The units are a series of tanks that heat and cool the chocolate appropriately in order to produce a product that is glossy, breaks crisply, and melts smoothly.

Shaping the Goods: Molding Machine. The chocolate is then sent to the molding line, where a precise amount of chocolate is pumped into rectangle molds or is hand molded. And it’s time for the finale: when the chocolates are packaged by hand. (Refer to Chapter 15 for more details to experience during a chocolate factory tour.)






In a cocoa fruit shell, there are four grades of chocolate: mass market, mass-market premium, gourmet, and prestige varieties. Mass-market chocolate often contains less cocoa, and more artificial flavoring and additives, and cocoa butter is sometimes replaced with hydrogenated oils, which cost less for the chocolate maker.

The price range for chocolate varies. Author Clay Gordon, who wrote Discover Chocolate (Gotham Books), has broken up chocolate grades into four groups, which I found to be an easy to follow quality gauge. Here, I have decoded and translated his expertise into Cal-ese. And I have personally sampled from the groups—the grades are in working order; but note, chocolate preferences are often subjective, just like choosing a favorite purebred canine:

Mass market: less than $15 per pound. Don’t get excited. Ingredients and production techniques are not to be compared with those of the higher-end chocolates. Sample: Hershey’s bar.

Mass-market premium: $15 to $25 per pound. You are entering a healthier chocolate land. You will find some no-no fats in the chocolate, and the odds are that artificial flavorings will be part of it. Production will be done by machine, and the flavor will be in the Belgian and American styles. Sample: See’s Candies.

Gourmet: $25 to $40 per pound. Welcome to chocolate semi-bliss. Some bad fats may be lurking in your chocolate, but it will be minus artificial coloring or flavorings. Sample: Lake Champlain Chocolates.

Prestige: more than $40 per pound. You have entered chocolate bliss. Forget artificial stuff or non–cocoa butter fats, and hydrogenated fats. Also, prestige chocolates will entice your eyes with delicate detail and titillate your taste buds because they’ll be handmade with tender loving care. Sample: Christopher Norman Chocolates.

The price of a chocolate helps set expectations for quality, especially with respect to the ingredients that should be used, Gordon notes.

And chocolate is more than just fine chocolates—truffles and bars. Chocolate comes in many forms. Add beverages (e.g., cocoa to coffee lattes); baked goods (e.g., biscotti to cookies), frozen varieties (e.g., ice cream to sorbet), and candy (e.g., fudge to truffles).

A Taste of Chocolate Ingredients

Some chocolate makers confirm that their dark and dark milk chocolate is all natural, and the claim is on the chocolate product labels. That means there are no preservatives, no additives. Also, the natural process includes nonalkalin-ized chocolate liquor or cocoa processed without alkaline treatment.

Chocolate makers as well as myself—a chocolatarian (an individual who includes dark chocolate in the daily diet)—will also tell you that cocoa content doesn’t tell you much about the taste or quality of chocolate. Sure, the percentage will tell you how much of the chocolate is cacao solids—and it boasts health benefits. But the glitch is, the less fermentation that takes place, the healthier the chocolate may be, but the taste may not be tasty and might end up in the file cabinet or garbage.

So, the flavor you crave and quality you want can depend on many factors: the quality of the cocoa bean, how the pods are fermented, exactly how long they are roasted, how the cacao is ground, and the amount and quality of the ingredients used in a recipe. One more thing: Chocolate lovers, like me, aren’t thrilled about the replacement of cocoa butter with vegetable oil.


(Source: National Confectioners Association.)

Chocolate and its cocoa beans have made a healthful comeback from their original roots, centuries ago. In fact, chocolate makers (the people or companies that make chocolate from raw cocoa beans) and chocolatiers (the people who purchase chocolate from the manufacturers and make chocolates using it and other ingredients) are noting the health perks on their products.

And consumers are now learning what people knew centuries ago. Medical researchers, doctors, and nutritionists are discovering good news about chocolate every day. True, in the past it was not known exactly how or why chocolate had healing powers—but it did. It’s clear as a cup of hot chocolate that explorers to royalty knew that chocolate had versatile virtues, worked wonders, and was as good as money growing on trees.










New research shows that quality dark chocolate, which is derived from a variety of cocoa beans in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia—as well as other places 20° below the equator around the globe—may help you to:

lower your risk of heart disease and cancer.

enhance your immune system.

stave off diabetes.

fight fat.

slow the aging process.

add years to your life.

Most important, the quality of chocolate matters—a lot—for your health’s sake. Chocolate makers to medical doctors recommend chocolate that is natural, organic, and has a low sugar content.

In this book, I will show you how using chocolate (and other forbidden health foods) is one of the best things you can do for yourself—and your health. But note, many people will not want to reap the benefits of chocolate by indulging in the dark stuff. While chocolate candy is great solo, chocolate is also used in a great variety of foods. Chocolate has a vast number of uses in cooking and baking, and I’ve included dozens of recipes—from entrees to desserts—to help heal your body, mind, and spirit. And versatile chocolate can do so much more when used both internally and externally.

But first, let’s go way, way back into the past. Let’s take a close-up look at why and how chocolate is one of the world’s first—and most prized—natural medicines.


A Genesis of Chocolate

The greatest tragedies were written by the Greek Sophocles and English Shakespeare. Neither knew chocolate.

—Sandra Boynton¹

The deep roots of using chocolate for medicinal purposes, which vary from physical stamina to mental well-being, go back centuries. While the cacao tree may have been introduced by the Mayans, it was actually cultivated in South America by the Olmec Indians in 1,500 B.C. to 400 B.C., then by the Totecs and later by the Aztecs.²

As early as


600, the Aztecs made a nutritious paste that could be mixed in water. They added spices and tagged this drink chocolatl, or bitter water, and believed it induced wisdom and knowledge. Chocolate was used as a health remedy for many ailments. Chocolate was more than just a drink or food to the Mayans and Aztecs and Europeans—it became a medicinal agent and even provided promises of vitality, strength, and much more. Century after century, people discovered that chocolate works wonders for health. In Europe, more than 100 medicinal uses for chocolate have been documented from the 16th to the 20th century.³

Today, nutritionists and researchers in Europe, America, and around the world continue to find more and more powerful uses for this forbidden fruit known as chocolate. History shows that people since the Mayans and Aztecs have taken advantage not only of the internal benefits of chocolate, but of its external perks as well. And we are (again) finding out that the popular forbidden fruit’s healing powers are timeless and universal.





: F







The Mayan Indians gave good kudos to cocoa beans and for good reason. As history tells it, drawings of cocoa pods were carved into the walls of their stone temples, and Mayan writings link cacao to food of the gods. What’s more, it was the Mayans who first concocted a drink from crushed cocoa beans, which was praised by royalty and played a role at sacred ceremonies.

Like the Mayans, the Aztecs also recognized and recorded chocolate. The Aztecs named the beneficial beverage chocolatl, which means warm liquid. They, too, turned to the drink during ceremonies.

As time passed, in the early 16th century, explorer Christopher Columbus brought the dark, almond-shaped cocoa beans back to Spain from his voyage to the Caribbean islands. He shared the food of the gods with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, but their reaction was not a standing ovation, and the cocoa beans were not a standout commodity in their eyes. Thus, Columbus did not get the much deserved credit for his amazing find.

The Royal Emperor of Chocolate

The divine drink, which builds up resistance and fights fatigue.

A cup of this precious drink (cocoa) permits a man to walk for a whole day without food.

—Montezuma II, Emperor

Remember Montezuma, the legendary royalty of Mexico? Montezuma II, a

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  • (2/5)
    I found this book to be alright. It's focus on the chocolate, along with various other foods it can be combined with. The recipes don't look too bad, though the specific use of a chocolate brand for a recipe makes it more difficult to make. I have read better chocolate books however.
  • (1/5)
    I finally got around to giving this book my attention - I was actually disappointed, as I was hoping for some real evidence to support my chocolate addiction ;) - instead I found a collection of facts and cures centered on chocolate, but really, I already knew that chocolate was good for everything and didn't need confirmation. Nothing much of substance here and the editing seemed rather haphazard, unfortunately I'll probably pass the book on to another reader. Some of the recipes looked interesting but if you've ever worked with chocolate you'll know it's a bit tricky.
  • (3/5)
    I'm a chocoholic. A book with a title like this ought to be compelling reading. Sadly, it isn't. It reads like a diet book - very repetitive.
  • (4/5)
    If you love chocolate and need reasons to eat more of it, then grab a copy of this book. It is a light but fascinating read about the powers of chocolate and it's history.Since I leave only 30 minutes from Hershey PA chocolate has always played a big part in my life. I am sad that Hershey doesn't get more mention in the book, but I guess there are other books for that.Did you know that the first brownie recipe was published in 1897 in the Sears and Roebuck Catalog? I didn't know that either but learned it in this book.The most interesting part of this book to me is a list of ailments (such as PMS, Sore Throat, IBS) and their appropriate chocolate treatments. Yes, these are serious suggestions that use the items contained in chocolate (such as iron) to help ease these problems.The book contains a large number of recipes also for those who need more ways to consume the discussed chocolate.I wouldn't call this book a serious reference book and I'm not sure my doctor would agree with all of the health claims, but it definitely is worth the time I took to read it.
  • (1/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I have to admit that I didn’t finish reading this book. I made it to page 167 of 294 (the last 60 of those pages are recipes and places to buy chocolate). It is so poorly written that I just couldn’t read it. My initial impression was that it needed a good editor, but after the first couple of chapters, I realized that what it really needed was a good author.There is very little original writing in this volume. Most of the material in it was previously published in Ms. Orey’s previous two books. It is obvious she merely copied and pasted passages from those books into the manuscript with no regard to narrative flow. She uses tables of information lifted directly from other sources (with proper attribution) without any discussion. The most egregious fault I found was her description of a tour of a chocolate factory. She was unable to make the tour, so she used the notes of a friend who did go on the tour. Just the notes in raw form, again copied and pasted into her manuscript.Some of her writing reads likes notes also. I found it very jarring to encounter sentences that were grammatically incorrect or that had no point. She tells the same stories over and over, each time as if it were the first time that the story has been used. Her tracing of the history of chocolate is marred by her lack of geographical knowledge. Countries wander from Central to South America and back again, depending on which page you are reading. As for those “healing powers”, she is correct in citing the trace nutrients found in chocolate. However, reputable scientists have pointed out that they are found in such minute quantities that you would have to eat 25 pounds of chocolate every day to gain any benefit from them. Ms. Orley smoothly skates past this little detail by recommending a “dosage” of 1 to 2 squares of dark chocolate per day as part of a healthy diet (she recommends either the Mediterranean diet or the French diet) along with regular exercise. She neglects to mention that it is the diet and exercise, not the chocolate, that is providing the health benefits.She lives in the San Francisco area and takes us on a tour of the chocolatiers in that city, breathlessly describing their incomparable chocolates, recommending that readers choose those chocolates rather than chocolates from anywhere else. She then goes on to admit that she eats plain old Hershey’s Dark Chocolate. From Pennsylvania.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (1/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    This book was a disappointment to me. It really was not much more than an uninteresting listing of "facts" in which the author habitually referenced her own prior works as the source. In fact the author promotes her prior books at every opportunity throughout. She promotes chocolate as an anticancer food and in the “What You Can Do” portion says “Treat yourself to one-fifth of a dark chocolate bar each day. Keep in mind, incorporating dark chocolate in moderation with other anticancer foods including antioxidant-rich fresh fruits, vegetables, fatty fish and olive oil is beneficial too” This seems to sum up her basic advise in a nutshell (or coco bean if you want to be clever): follow all the advise of the respected nutritionists, doctors, and researchers, but a little chocolate probably boosts your spirits for the battle. Maybe she’s on to something but the writing style of the book was too "low level text book" for me.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (1/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Every time the news announces some bit of science that will somehow confirm Woody Allen's fantastic future in Sleeper where all things bad for us are actually very good for us, three things happen. First, the headlines grab all sorts of attention. Second, the facts are printed and those that care to know find out the truth quickly realize that getting the benefits would involve consuming ridiculous amounts of a foodstuff on a daily basis. Thirdly, those wishing to make a buck off of the headlines will write books on how to incorporate the reformed bad food into your daily diet without caring about the scientific part of things. Alas, I thought we'd moved onto "everything in moderation" years ago and away from things being only good or bad with the need to justify everything we eat, but here we are looking for a reason to eat chocolate in moderation. If I'm to believe this book, chocolate can cure everything that ails me - one of my favorites from the list being entries on both diarrhea and constipation. Talk about your wonder food! Don't worry, it also can be used to treat anorexia and bulimia according to the same list. But that's not all - cabin fever, flatulence, lovesickness and something known as universal emergency - all cured by chocolate! I wish I were kidding, but this is the quality of the medical advice. The book also contains recipes. In the past, I'd normally cook a few recipes from a book as part of my review, but when reviewing a few recipes, I found some interesting ingredients. And when I say "interesting," what I mean is that these ingredients no longer exist. First there are Hershey's Raspberry chocolate chips which were discontinued nearly three years ago. Then there's the case of Watkin's Danish Pastry Extract - which was part of their special 2006 LIMITED Holiday Edition gift pack available only between September and December of that year. If that weren't bad enough, there's the inclusion of vague ingredients with no explanation. Lavender is mentioned in one recipe but no clarification is offered to point the reader to dried buds, leaves, stems or even essential oil. And then there's the random use of branding throughout - olive oils, vinegars and even some chocolates - with no explanation as to why that particular brand is the one to use. In one of the chocolate brands, an artisan Hawaiian chocolate that is mail-order only and clocks in at over $30/pound is casually tossed out (and her version isn't listed on the official web site) with no good reason to explain why I couldn't use any one of about the 30 or so other chocolates readily available at my local Whole Foods. Long story short, this lack of editing and care when writing the recipes didn't inspire me to heat up the stove to even bother with what were likely recipes submitted a few years ago by various sponsors (or copied from her prior books).Ultimately, this reads like someone that threw together a book after realizing they were three days away from needing to make their deadline while remembering that they promised to somehow work in free advertisements for a bunch of random food companies.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (1/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Not exactly stellar writing or a wildly innovative approach, but informational enough. The section on chocolate-based cures was a bit of a joke: almost every ailment was remedied with 2 oz dark chocolate. There are a couple of recipes I want to check out, but overall, this one is destined to be weeded out in the next move.

    1 person found this helpful