Thought Leadership

Chocolate is good

By Colin Walls

So, today is Saint Valentine’s Day. I will adopt my usual practice and ignore it. It is not because I am unromantic. It is just that it has become an excuse for lots of people to sell stuff. It used to be the day on which you sent a message of love/admiration/passion/desire to somebody you had your eye on. In other words, it was a special day for single people. However, nowadays, all the big marketing companies have figured out that singles are a minority and sell to couples, as they have the largest pool of available cash.

Today has drawn my attention to something important, which is commonly used in Valentine’s greetings. I speak, of course, of chocolate …

I have “come out” about my chocolate addiction a while ago, when I wrote about my great plan for selling premium chocolate products. I am not cured, but I do manage to restrain myself from chomping every weekday afternoon [except for vacations and holidays] and do not binge at the weekend. I guess that I am in rehab. But I am always on the lookout for good news about chocolate.

I remember hearing years ago that chocolate was actually good for you. Compared with other confectionery, chocolate does not tend to linger in the mouth too long, so the teeth are exposed to decay-inducing sugar for less time. Also, there is some chemical in chocolate that combats the bugs that do the decaying. In search of evidence to back up this memory, I came across a useful video which outlines 5 ways in which chocolate is good for you:

  • Chocolate may improve your mood. [We knew that!] It contains Anandamide, which is a naturally occurring chemical in the brain, which combats pain and depression.
  • Stroke risk in men may be reduced, as chocolate contains polyphenols called Catechins which have an anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory effect. [I am not sure why this focuses on men.]
  • The risk of various other fatal diseases may be reduced as some of the polyphenols in chocolate are anti-oxidants. These eliminate cancer-inducing free radicals and affect cholesterol levels – boosting the good kind and reducing the bad kind.
  • Chocolate is a stimulant, as it contains Caffeine and Theobromine. [So maybe a dose after lunch each day might be good for me.]
  • Dark chocolate seems to reduce stress. In research, anxious people were given about 40g each day for 2 weeks and showed a reduction in stress hormones.

It is great to hear science being used for something useful. The video does annoyingly point out that there are many other sources of all these good things, most of which have much lower calorie levels and less saturated fat. But I fast-forwarded over that bit.

I was interested to also learn that there is such an event as Singles Awareness Day [SAD]. How useful that is! Well, at least it will be to the greetings card manufacturers – or maybe not.


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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at