Your Brain on Chocolate Chip Cookies

What is your preference?

Soft and gooey?
Crisp and crunchy?
Semisweet chocolate?
Milk chocolate?
Bittersweet?

Some research suggests that ingredients in chocolate chip cookies may have additive properties. Take sugar: Evidence in humans shows that sugar and sweetness can induce rewards and cravings comparable in magnitude to those induced by addictive drugs, including cocaine.

Oh Noooooooooo

Then there’s the chocolate, which, in addition to sugar, contains small amounts of a compound known as anandamide. Anandamide is also a brain chemical that targets the same cell receptors as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the active ingredient in marijuana that is responsible for its mood-altering effects.
(That’s not to say chocolate will produce the same “high” as marijuana, but there may be a chemical basis for the pleasure we get from eating chocolate.)
“According to Gary Wenk, director of neuroscience undergraduate programs at the Ohio State University and author of “Your Brain on Food,” high-fat, sugar-rich cookies will raise the level of anandamide in our brains independent of what’s in the cookie, because it’s our body’s response to eating such a tasty item. “The fat and sugar combine to induce our addiction as much as does the anandamide,” Wenk said. “It’s a triple play of delight.”‘

Oh Nooooooooo

Texture and flavor: Key to a cookie’s addictive characteristics

The flavor of chocolate chip cookies is “. . . a beautiful amalgam of caramelized butter and sugar,” the result of the browning of butter and caramelizing of sugar while it bakes. The combination of the toasted grain with the browned butter, caramelized sugar, vanilla and chocolate are “the beautiful rich flavors that blend together in a chocolate chip cookie.  And as the chocolate melts, it becomes more aromatic and punches up the flavor.”*

A happy indulgence

“The main thing is not to think of food as good food and bad food. It’s all good. It’s how much you eat of it,”
So whether it feels like a true “addiction” or not, indulging in a chocolate chip cookie or two should be a happy experience.

Oh Yessssssssss

*Gail Vance Civille, founder and president of Sensory Spectrum, a consulting firm that helps companies learn how sensory cues drive consumer perceptions of products.

The Chocolate Express

One of my fibromyalgia main symptoms is chronic fatigue.  At it’s best, my entire body feels heavy and aches.  At it’s worst, I feel like I’m trying to run through quicksand which is up to my eyebrows . . . even when I’m sitting down.  I sleep 8 – 10 hours every night and wake up every morning feeling exhausted and achy.  Not a very pretty picture . . . However, I’m one of the lucky ones who is able to function and not incapacitated.

Because of the chronic fatigue I’m always on the alert for things that may help . . . and here’s my favorite . . . 

Scientists recommend eating chocolate for tired people.

Few know that the feeling of chronic fatigue is the fact that the body makes negligibly small amount of the hormone serotonin, responsible for feelings of joy and happiness.

American scientists conducted a study and found out which product can best produce serotonin and help to cope with chronic fatigue:

Everyone knows that chocolate improves mood, because it improves the production of serotonin.

It turns out, “. . . it is bitter chocolate – just 50 grams of this delicacy, is capable of preventing physical and emotional exhaustion, and to help cope with fatigue.”

To establish the production of serotonin in your body, people need to eat every day half tiles of dark chocolate for two months.

YA HOOOOOOOOOooooooo

(jw)

http://micetimes.asia/named-another-unique-property-of-chocolate/

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Happy Chocolate Easter

Dark chocolate, cocoa powder, cinnamon, olive oil, eggs are good for you.  Sneak in a bit of veggies and you’ve got health food!

Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

2 cups zucchini, grated (Grate very fine so your brain doesn’t recognize anything healthy
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey or agave nectar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup flour (white, spelt, whole wheat – different flours = different textures)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chi[ps

Add Walnuts, flax seed or chia seeds (optional health foods)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking pan.
  2. Grate zucchini. Press with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Fluff with a fork.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together oil, eggs, agave or honey and vanilla. Add zucchini.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
  5. Add dry mixture to the wet/zucchini mixture. Stir to combine. Add chocolate chips.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cook it Up Kitty eating healthy

Why Chocolate is Good for Tallulah and My Heart

Tallulah Pacehead

Eating chocolate has been tied to a reduced risk of heart disease. Now scientists have uncovered how strong this link is.

“Using data from a large Danish health study, researchers have found an association between chocolate consumption and a lowered risk for atrial fibrillation, the irregular heartbeat that can lead to stroke, heart failure and other serious problems. The study is in Heart.”

“Scientists tracked diet and health in 55,502 men and women ages 50 to 64. They used a well-validated 192-item food-frequency questionnaire to determine chocolate consumption. During an average 14 years of follow-up, there were 3,346 diagnosed cases of atrial fibrillation.”

“After controlling for total calorie intake, smoking, alcohol consumption, body mass index and other factors, they found that compared with people who ate no chocolate, those who had one to three one-ounce servings a month had a 10 percent reduced relative risk for atrial fibrillation, those who ate one serving a week had a 17 percent reduced risk, and those who ate two to six a week had a 20 percent reduced risk.”

“Dark chocolate with higher cocoa content is better, according to the lead author, Elizabeth Mostofsky, an instructor at Harvard, because it is the cocoa, not the milk and sugar, that provides the benefit.”

“You can’t have as much chocolate as you want,” she said, “and then ignore everything we know about healthy diet and physical activity.”

Ms. Mostofsky is a bit of a spoil sport.  But I’m going for a 20% reduced risk so Tallulah Pacehead can chill.

Check these out too!  Just click:

Woofer’s Chocolate Raspberry Bark Bark

Freddie’s Food Friday

A Chocolate a Day Melts the Fat Away

Chocolate Rides Again

(jw)

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Freddie’s Food Friday

Dear Freddie Followers,

Feeding Peggy and Judy brain healthy food is my mission.  They are getting old . . .er and need all the encouragement they can get from me to eat healthy.  I have a lot of recipes and let them pick which ones they want me to make for them.  

I suspect they choose chocolate so they could have it all to themselves.* They insist chocolate is not healthy for me . . . just for them . . .

I tweaked the original recipe to make it even MORE tasty.  

Espresso Brownie Cake

Brain Healthy Ingredients:

Cinnamon – contains large amounts of highly potent polyphenol antioxidants.

Different groups of researchers have shown that cinnamon may prevent the formation of both the plaques and the tangles found in the Alzheimer’s brain.

 Dark chocolate & Cocoa – rich in flavonoids compounds that have been linked to improved cognitive performance in older adults. Studies have shown that cocoa flavanols improve performance in healthy adults during sustained mental effort and may also protect against stroke.

Coffee – contains anti-inflammatory polyphenols. Many controlled trials in humans show that coffee improves various aspects of brain function. This includes memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times and general cognitive function 

A single cup of coffee contains:

  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 11% of the RDA.
  • Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5): 6% of the RDA.
  • Manganese and Potassium: 3% of the RDA.
  • Magnesium and Niacin (B3): 2% of the RDA.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (I didn’t have enough butter so I added coconut butter)
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee (I didn’t have espresso coffee so I made it twice)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened organic cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (I didn’t have buttermilk, so I made sour milk adding a tsp of white vinegar to the milk.)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped dark chocolate (I didn’t have enough dark chocolate so I added semi-sweet)
Preparation: 
  • Heat oven to 400. Spray an 8 or 9 inch square pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Combine flour and sugar in a mixing bowl
  • Heat butter, espresso, and cocoa in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Pour cocoa mixture over flour and sugar and mix.
  • Add buttermilk, egg, baking soda, vanilla, and cinnamon and mix to combine.
  • Stir in chocolate pieces.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Garnish with powdered sugar before serving if desired.

P.S. Peggy and Judy said the cake was good but after eating several pieces decided it needed more chocolate chips.  So they poured chocolate chips over the cake.

P.P.S. Peggy and Judy said the cake was good but after eating several pieces with the extra chocolate chips decided it needed ice cream.   I’m afraid there wasn’t enough brain healthy cinnamon or coffee in the cake because they went to the store to buy ice-cream and haven’t been seen since.

*P.P.P.S.  I found crumbs on the floor (it’s humiliating what I have to endure) and thought it delicious.  You can eat it on a plate with a fork but I recommend using just your tongue.

Here’s recipe site . . . https://www.brainhq.com/brain-resources/brain-healthy-foods-nutrition/brain-healthy-recipes/espresso-brownie-cake

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