Why women need chocolate

February 12, 2008 4:00:24 PM PST
Debra Waterhouse M.P.H., R.D. nutrition expert and author of "Why Women Need Chocolate: Outsmarting Female Food Cravings," was here to show us how women can eat chocolate and lose weight. You can have a delicious and sensible plan.

Web site: www.waterhousepublications.com

10 Guilt-free reasons to eat chocolate on Valentine's Day:

  1. Chocolate is more than a symbol of love -- it contains phenylethylamine, the same chemical released in our bodies when we feel love in our hearts.

  2. Chocolate is a natural stress reducer -- it releases the calming brain chemical serotonin that chills us out when we're feeling overwhelmed and anxious.

  3. Chocolate is a natural mood elevator -- it releases "feel good" endorphins in our brains that make us smile. Exercise also releases endorphins, so go for a brisk walk with some chocolate in hand and you just might come back happy to do your homework!

  4. Chocolate is high in magnesium ? a mineral that helps to stabilize our moods and prevent rollercoaster emotions.

  5. Chocolate contains antioxidants -- special disease-fighting substances that keep our immune systems strong and our bodies healthy.

  6. Chocolate helps keep our arteries clean -- it may even be healthier for our hearts than broccoli!

  7. Chocolate helps prevent tooth decay -- it contains an anti-bacterial agent that keeps cavities at bay (but it's still a good idea to brush your teeth after eating it).

  8. Chocolate is low in caffeine -- one ounce has only 6 mg of caffeine. For comparison, a cup of coffee has 180 mg.

  9. Chocolate is low in cholesterol -- dark chocolate is cholesterol-free and milk chocolate has only 7 mg of cholesterol an ounce. For comparison, an ounce of steak has 70 mg of cholesterol.

  10. Chocolate is more satisfying than any other food -- it has over 500 aromas and flavors, making our nose and taste buds very happy.

So go ahead, have some chocolate this Valentine's Day without feeling an ounce of guilt. To get all these amazing benefits, a half ounce (about 1/3 of a candy bar or 2 Hershey's Kisses) is all you need. Eat it slowly, savor each bite, and enjoy the benefits to your heart and brain.

About Debra Waterhouse, MPH, RD:
Debra Waterhouse is an internationally acclaimed registered dietitian and best-selling author of Outsmarting the Female Fat Cell, Why Women Need Chocolate, Outsmarting the Mother/Daughter Food Trap, Outsmarting the Midlife Fat Cell, Outsmarting Female Fatigue, and Outsmarting the Female Fat Cell After Pregnancy.

She received her undergraduate degree from Simmons College in Boston and her masters in public health from the University of California at Berkeley. As an expert in women's health and a leader in the anti-dieting movement, she has been featured on hundreds of radio and television programs, including Dateline, 20/20, Good Morning America, and The Today Show.

Through her books, private practice and seminars, she has inspired hundreds of thousands of women to appreciate their female bodies and embrace a natural, non-restrictive approach to health and well-being. Her goal is to help women of all ages break free from the trap of dieting and body dissatisfaction and start feeding and respecting the bodies they were born with.