Chocolate Wellness

As part of our partnership with DBSA we have been providing chocolate meditation tasting kits to support groups around the US. Please read for a lovely story of wellness…

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“Your gift of the chocolate meditation kit was very timely as the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) challenge for the month of July was to find ways to relax and prevent stress from building up.  Here at the Recovery Cooperative of Muskegon we are a peer run drop in center for people who live with a mental health diagnosis.  At our DBSA meeting today we had two staff and five members attend.  We began our group today by practicing chocolate meditation.

These are the comments from the people who participated:  I loved the flute music, enjoyed it, this was a relaxing way to get ready for group, I enjoyed it but thought the chocolate was bitter, this is a good way to calm down from anxiety.

Again, thank you so very much for the gift of the chocolate meditation kit.  We all enjoyed it very much and thought it was a great wellness tool.  We plan to practice chocolate meditation again at future meetings.”

DBSA-Logo-Horiz-Bluehttp://www.dbsa.org for more information.

Tell us how you enjoy chocolate for wellness and be entered to win a free bag of chocolate!

Walk a little longer and farther by eating Dark Chocolate!

Chocolate again comes in with another potential health bonus!!

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Polyphenols — compounds found in cocoa — may reduce oxidative stress and improve blood flow in peripheral arteries. “Polyphenol-rich nutrients could represent a new therapeutic strategy to counteract cardiovascular complications,” said, Francesco Violi, M.D., study senior author and professor of internal medicine at the Sapienza University of Rome.

In a pilot study of patients with PAD (14 men and six women, ages 60-78), study participants increased their ability to walk unassisted after eating dark chocolate, compared to when they ate milk chocolate. After eating the dark chocolate, they walked an average 11 percent farther and 15 percent longer (almost 12 meters/39 feet farther and about 17 seconds longer) than they could earlier that day. But distance and time didn’t improve after eating milk chocolate.

The improvements were modest. Still, the benefit of dark chocolate polyphenols is “of potential relevance for the quality of life of these patients,” said Lorenzo Loffredo, M.D., the study’s co-author and assistant professor at the Sapienza University of Rome in Italy.

 

To read the full study click here.

 

The Don’ts of Chocolate Tasting

The Don’ts of Chocolate Tasting (this was written on  the C-Spot)

We’re often asked to lead formal tastings which we conduct on special occasions.
Most of these tastings affairs are, bluntly, just a ‘tarding up of the consumer: “now here’s how you eat chocolate: first, look at it by opening your eyes; second, smell it by breathing in thru your nose; third, listen to it by perking up your ears; next, bite it…” ad nauseam. People need nanny-style potty training like the Pentagon needs another explosive device.
Chocolate is a direct hit – it’s an easy to “get”.
But since you asked, here are a few quick “don’ts”.
Don’t:
…overthink taste.choco medi 4

Instead turn off your internal chatter & let the melt flow into an effortless attention that will freely interpret & translate a bar’s manifold flavors, without work, as relaxation sets in, taking on a meditative-trance aspect akin to mushin no shin, the Zen expression for “zoned”. That’s what the chocolate melt—literally / physically, figuratively / metaphorically— is all about.
Take a deep breath, inhale the perfumes & harmonize with the bar like that bird clasped in the hand—too loose it flies away, too tight, you’ll crush it.
…do as you’re told. choco medi2

Some proscribe chewing, for instance. Chew or let it melt on your tongue? Consider both – between alternate tastings or even together—because both have their strengths &, moreover, each reveals a different side of the flavor.
Chocolate, after all, embodies a full sensory experience—often an overload—engendering intimacy. So whatever feels good… use your body intelligence. Besides, it’s your chocolate.
…wait for the right moment.
Some cocoa gurus proclaim that certain times of the day are optimal for critical tastings.
Others say only after you’ve cleared the palate with some kind of slimey gruel or a proper hi-colonic (k, we jest on that one).
Our take: People link chocolate to sex since it carries that oozy body-melt & contains trace amounts of aphrodisiacs (such as PEA – phenylethylamine, the “Love Chemical”, an adrenal-related compound that is also naturally created within the hypothalamus of the brain & is released to flood the brain during orgasm, producing that warm glow).
Whether morning or midnight, sex can be good any time. The outdoor variety, for instance, under the midday sun when the senses are fully awakened.
Spontaneity… whenever the moment seizes & moves, carpe chocolatum, in sync with Roberta Flack’s “that’s the time, I feel like makin’…”

Chocolate, you just don’t stop! Another reason to love you…

It seems like weekly there is new fantastic research extolling the health virtues of chocolate. Last week we saw that chocolate may actually help diabetes and now this week we are finding out exactly how chocolate works in our internal system making it so good for us. As we spoke about in one blog post a few months ago chocolate contains phenols, an antioxidant, a compound in cocoa-rich chocolate are the same as the ones found in red wine. Now we can see how those antioxidants work!

Researchers with Louisiana State University unveiled at the 247th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) their study, the first ever to look at the effects of dark chocolate on the various types of bacteria in the stomach. Their research showed how certain bacteria in the stomach consume parts of the chocolate thus fermenting it into anti-inflammatory compounds that benefit the heart and gut.

Maria Moore, an undergraduate student and one of the study’s researchers, explained “We found that there are two kinds of microbes in the gut: the ‘good’ ones and the ‘bad’ ones.The good microbes, such as Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria, feast on chocolate,” she said. “When you eat dark chocolate, they grow and ferment it, producing compounds that are anti-inflammatory.” The other bacteria in the gut are associated with inflammation and can cause gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. These include some Clostridia and some E. coli.”

“When these compounds are absorbed by the body, they lessen the inflammation of cardiovascular tissue, reducing the long-term risk of stroke,” said John Finley, Ph.D., who led the work.  This study was supported by the Louisiana State College of Agriculture and a Louisiana AgCenter Undergraduate Research Grant.

Exciting times in the world of chocolate! Want some now? Order online at www.intentionalchocolate.com

Intentional Chocolate Raspberry

For more on the study American Chemical Society. “Precise reason for health benefits of dark chocolate: Thank hungry gut microbes.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140318154725.htm>.

We are brand new and want to share gifts with you!

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We felt it was time to give our site a new do! So come over and check out what we’ve done with the place. It’s spiffed up and easier to use. So come check it out and let us know what you think, we are pretty sure you’ll like it!

Some great new pieces have been added to the site:

Fun new Video Content
Chocolate Meditation Tasting preview tracks
Great Press on IC
Easier layout

We are also giving away Hot Chocolate!

This yummy hot chocolate is a rough grind of the dark intentional chocolate with added spice blend perfect for thick creamy warm cocoa. A $29 value!

Intentional hot chocolate-copyright Fran Collin

And entering is EASY! Today through the weekend, enter to win by following our blog, liking our blog site or adding your name to our email list on the front page of our site, http://www.intentionalchocolate.com or do all three for more of a chance to win! So pass this along to others and they too can join in the fun.

Winner is chosen on Monday with 5 runner ups who receive 20% discount codes for bags of chocolate! So enter now.
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. Wishing you happiness.” – Helen Keller

Chocolate’s anti-inflammatory properties

Inflammation has been getting a lot of attention recently as “some researchers now believe that low-grade inflammation is associated with everything from heart disease and diabetes to Alzheimer’s and arthritis, and may even be the cause of most chronic diseases.” – (http://www.wellnessletter.com/ucberkeley/feature/inflammation/#)

What’s great news though is that chocolate has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Phenols, an antioxidant, a compound in cocoa-rich chocolate are the same as the ones found in red wine. The more chocolate percentage the higher the antioxidants there are and more benefits to be found. Magnesium also has anti-inflammatory properties, which is also found in chocolate.

So eat up and fight disease! Buy our 14 ounce dark organic 73% Intentional Chocolate here!

IC- pistoles 2 white