Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

The Secret Life of Chocolate: Learn what is contained in "chocolate" and a healthy alternative, according to Dr. Harlan Sparer

Feb 01, 2013 03:53PM ● By Dr. Harlan Sparer

Many people enjoy both broccoli and chocolate without combining them in the same bite. Steamed or stir fried, broccoli is full of nutrients and tasty. Imagine boiling it for a while and then cooling it. Now imagine that just for good measure, it was boiled again and combined with the main ingredient in Drano, carefully removing the Drano afterwards. Now, suppose we offered someone a percent of this yummy treat or added it in a small amount as “liquor” to what was supposed to be broccoli. You’d probably say their level of desire to eat this would be low.

Yet, that is essentially what is being done to the popular confection we eat today. It is boiled repeatedly, treated with harsh chemicals and then sold as chocolate, when it only contains a small amount of chocolate liquor. If we’re lucky, we are overspending for “healthy” chocolate, labeled with a percentage on it. What they don’t say is how nutritionally bankrupt it is after boiling it several times.

There is a relatively simple solution—make it ourself. Using chocolate ingredients that are cold pressed and exposing them to a low heat of about 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the results can be divine, with some interesting effects. It takes about an hour to make with common kitchen utensils.

Divine and interesting effects? Danielle Piomelli, of the Neurosciences Institute, in San Diego, made some fascinating discoveries in 1996. It appears that chocolate has a substance in it dubbed anandamide. Some schools of neurochemistry are beginning to tout it as an aid to depression, due to its biochemical effects. It targets nerves that are pleasure centers in the brain.

Because these substances are heat sensitive, the multiple boiling degrades most of it, which means that it takes a whole lot more of the boiled chocolate to satiate the palate than the raw variety. Enjoying raw chocolate means we are eating far less sugar or even no sugar, as well.

Dr. Harlan Sparer is a DNFT chiropractor practicing in Tempe. He can be reached at 480-245-7894 or [email protected]. For classes, recipes and videos, visit or  Learn how to make raw chocolate truffles Feb. 14 in a very special class by Dr. Harlan.

Upcoming Events Near You
Current Issue




Health Brief Video
Global Brief Video