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Chocolate

HEALTH
November 29, 2010 | By Joe Graedon and Theresa Graedon, Special to the Los Angeles Times
I read with interest that eating three almonds before or after a meal could help with heartburn. Do you see any problem with the almonds being chocolate-covered? We're afraid so. Although they are delicious, chocolate-covered almonds are unlikely to be helpful. That's because chocolate may relax the lower esophageal sphincter, the ring of muscle that separates the stomach from the esophagus. Heartburn happens when this muscle relaxes and allows acid to splash back up into the swallowing tube.
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NEWS
August 29, 2011 | By Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots blog
While medical researchers are busy trying to figure out why chocolate appears to lower the risk of developing heart disease, chemists are studying the more pressing question of just what gives cocoa beans their irresistible aroma and taste. Cocoa beans contain hundreds of compounds, all of which combine in the nose and mouth to produce the flavor we know as chocolate. But Peter Schieberle , a professor at the Institute for Food Chemistry at the Technical University in Munich, Germany, figured out that he needed only 25 of these compounds to trick taste testers into thinking they had sampled actual chocolate.
SCIENCE
August 3, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
Archaeologists have found residues of cacao -- or chocolate -- on 2,500-year-old plate fragments from the Northern Maya Lowlands in Yucatan, Mexico. Although cacao residue has been found in cups from other sites that are 1,000 years older, this is the oldest trace of cacao in this northern region. Perhaps more important, it is the first evidence that the Maya used cacao for anything other than as a drink. The presence of cacao on a plate suggests that it was used as a spice or sauce for food.
SCIENCE
August 7, 2013 | By Melissa Pandika
Older chocoholics may have a new excuse to indulge their cravings: The dark stuff not only soothes the soul, but might also sharpen the mind.  In a study published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, researchers reported that chocolate may help improve brain health and thinking skills in the elderly . The Boston-based team found that older people who initially performed poorly on a memory and reasoning test and also had reduced blood flow...
NEWS
February 1, 2013 | By S. Irene Virbila
Cult notebook Moleskine's  Passion series includes a notebook for every burgeoning gastronome's obsession. That would be dedicated notebooks for beer, chocolate and coffee. And now wine. Keep your notes all in one place so you don't forget how much you liked that Musar Jeune from Chateau Musar in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley or that bar of Green & Black's organic chocolate. The Passions Wine Journal , billed as “your ideal wine cellar on paper,” has six sections to fill in: Sparkling, White, Rose, Red, Fortified/Sweet, Spirits.
HEALTH
June 7, 2010
I'll bet you had a lot of hits on your chocolate health benefits story. My survey of the news spin cycles finds that the three that always make health claims are chocolate, red wine and coffee. Decades ago, it was claimed smoking was good for you because it "exercised" your lungs. Tomorrow they'll be claiming oil-flavored seafood caught in the Gulf of Mexico is good for you because you can get more gas in your engine. Please, as John Lennon said, "just gimme the truth." Dan McAloon Sydney, Australia • If there is even a glimmer of hopefulness or a specter of forthcoming favorable news that chocolate has any beneficial, redeeming qualities aside from the fact that its taste is just this side of heaven, we as the human race, including me, will most assuredly jump on the possibility that something so good can also be good for you. Bill Spitalnick Newport Beach Don't knock my Pop-Tarts I read your May 31 article on whole grains and came away thinking nutritionists are missing the boat when it comes to nutrition.
NEWS
March 3, 1985 | United Press International
A fire melted hundreds of pounds of chocolate at the landmark Van Duyn chocolate factory Saturday.
NATIONAL
January 4, 2010 | By Tina Susman
To appreciate Carmen Botez's love affair with chocolate, one must travel back to her childhood in dreary Romania, where the only chocolate she knew came from China, wrapped in red paper and with a slightly waxy taste. After the fall of the Soviet bloc, Botez had the freedom to travel and to taste. And taste she did: dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate (yes, she considers it chocolate, contrary to many confectionary snobs), chocolate with fruity, boozy, smooth and nutty interiors, chocolate mixed with spices.
SCIENCE
June 5, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Eating dark chocolate may protect your heart. Mary B. Engler and her colleagues at UC San Francisco fed 1.6-ounces of dark chocolate to 22 volunteers daily for two weeks. Half received bars containing dark chocolate's typically high levels of flavonoids, half placebo bars. Those in the high-flavonoid group showed a significant relaxation of blood vessels compared with tests done before chocolate consumption.
NATIONAL
March 25, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
Chocoholics were given further reason to rejoice when a small clinical study showed that dark chocolate improved the function of blood vessels. "In this sample of healthy adults, dark chocolate ingestion over a short period of time was shown to significantly improve [blood vessel] function," said Dr. Valentine Yanchou Njike of Yale Prevention Research Center, a study co-investigator.
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