Health columnist reeling
I am still recovering from the effects of last week’s column on the potential downside of eating yogurt. Apparently, I stamped on some very sore toes on this one. So I promise to be non-confrontation, non-controversial, and non-ANYTHING that will upset people this week. It is “Holy Week” after all.
So should I talk about Easter eggs and bunnies and all the sugar that our little ones will eat this season?
No I’d better not touch that one, either. My granddaughter is not yet a year old so I can present her with a basket of real chicken eggs, decorated in fun colors, and she will squeal with delight, not realizing that the rest of the civilized world (?) is indulging to their heart’s content on horrific baskets of candy. I teach a class at my church and each year I must stuff candy into plastic eggs for the children. It stabs me in the heart, I must tell you. I am never in favor of poisoning little children.
So what can we discuss today to make us feel better? I know! I’ll talk about healthy chocolate! I am still on a chocolate kick, for those of you who remember my column several weeks ago on raw, unprocessed chocolate from the Ivory Coast of Africa. I continue to read and hear about the benefits of this very complex food that has the highest antioxidant value of any food on the planet. Processed chocolate (by dutching or roasting) does not contain very many of the antioxidants in the natural chocolate, unfortunately, because if it is did, we would be the healthiest people in the world. One billion people ate chocolate yesterday, are eating it today, and will eat it tomorrow.
Chocolate sales actually increase during times of economic hardship (along with alcohol) because people use it for the ultimate comfort food.
Raw chocolate decreases blood pressure, increases insulin sensitivity, takes away headaches almost immediately, and yields other benefits to the cardiovascular system. Because it is so high in antioxidants, chocolate also eases inflammation, thus reducing stiffness and pain.
So this year, I suggest stuffing your children’s Easter basket with healthy chocolates and then ask her to share them with you.
Carol is a certified lifestyle educator at the offices of Dr. Alan Gruning in Fort Myers. She owns the Island Nutrition Center on Sanibel, FL. She can be reached at 472-4499.