James 1:17

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

A commercial on British Independent TV in the 1970s for a brand of chocolates showed an action-packed James Bond type figure, enduring all sorts of dangers, in order to leave the said box of chocolates for his lady. The implication was that ladies love chocolate, and their menfolk should do whatever it takes to get that chocolate to them, especially for those significant anniversaries.

Recent serious scientific research has discovered some actual benefits – for both women and men. The brand from the TV commercial would not be acceptable, however, as it was milk chocolate with 33% cacao. The health benefits researched are for dark (or plain) chocolate with greater than 70% cacao. Researchers at the Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center have found that such confectionery can actually reduce levels of stress and inflammation, while lightening mood and increasing immunity and memory. This seems to be because cacao is a major source of flavonoids. The research found that the positive effects occurred with a dose such as a regular-sized chocolate bar every couple of days.

Cacao flavonoids contain anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agencies, which are beneficial to both heart and brain. These findings seem to confirm that God has placed inside so many natural materials chemicals which are likely to be helpful to human beings. Just one word of caution – none of this reduces the calories contained in a candy bar!

So, perhaps you want to surprise your loved one with a candy bar to help her memory. But maybe you need one too, so that you don’t forget that important anniversary.

Even things that are seemingly unimportant were still created by You, Lord, and we give You thanks for all Your wonderful provision. Amen.

Ref: Loma Linda University Adventist Health Sciences Center. “Dark chocolate consumption reduces stress and inflammation: Data represent first human trials examining the impact of dark chocolate consumption on cognition and other brain functions.” ScienceDaily, 24 April 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180424133628.htm>. Image: CC BY-SA 3.0.