An elixir for the heart.
A food that is both sensual and blissful.
Many of us love its taste but, is it good for you?
Today, I’ll explain chocolate from an Ayurvedic perspective so you can learn if it is a food you should keep eating or not.
Let’s dive in.
There are many types of chocolate.
There are those kinds that are highly processed and contain giant amounts of sugar. Those lack Prana – as any other processed, canned, or frozen food do. What it means is that, for example, a snickers bar doesn’t have any life inside. And, as Ayurveda teaches us, we become as dead or vibrant as the foods we ate.
Not only is commercial chocolate a dead food, but it is toxic due to the harmful additives, corn syrup, artificial flavors, and chemicals often found in them that our body hasn’t learnt to process or assimilate yet, if ever.
Milk chocolate is also a problem. One of the most widely known benefits of eating chocolate is that it contains flavonoids which are incredibly beneficial for protecting you from stressors and toxins. They are great antioxidant agents that lose their value when combined with milk.
So, the kind of chocolate from an Ayurvedic perspective, I will be referring to in this article is dark (70% cocoa or more), organic and made from natural cocoa butter. This is the type of chocolate that provides you with health benefits.
AYURVEDA ANALYSIS ON CHOCOLATE
Ayurveda sees chocolate as a sensual and stimulating food. It is considered an aphrodisiac and it is believed to help with sexual desire and even infertility. Chocolate is said to warm your heart, genital organs, pelvic floor, and abdomen. The food of the gods is rich, luxurious, decadent and very sensual. Be aware, though, that eating too much is stimulating and depending on your constitution, that may not be such a good idea.
Let’s talk about its Ayurvedic qualities.
Chocolate is sweet and bitter, it is has a heating energy, and its post-digestive taste is sweet.
Bitter is one of the six tastes in Ayurveda, and it has strong implications on the body. The positive actions of the bitter taste is that it’s cleansing, reducing, anti-toxic, anti-inflammatory, and laxative. It should be clear then that chocolate, due to its bitter taste and stimulating effect, increases the cold, dry, and light qualities.
What does it mean for the doshas?
VATA (Ether and Air)
Vata individuals benefit the less from eating chocolate as it aggravates the subtle, light, dry, cold, and mobile qualities of this dosha. Eating chocolate can make you hyper as it contains caffeine. However, if you add some natural sweetener like maple syrup, date, or turbinado sugar, it helps the chocolate be heavier and much more balancing for Vata.
Adding almonds or even walnuts can diminish those light and mobile qualities inherent in chocolate.
And why not a little bit of orange peel? They bring the sour taste and heavy action to the mix, resulting in a good chocolate treat for this constitution. Don’t eat too much, though! Just a square a couple of days a week is the maximum recommended.
PITTA (Fire and Water)
Unfortunately, chocolate is not recommended for Pitta either. Pitta tends to suffer from skin conditions, short temper, and heartburn, and all are possibly intensified by chocolate, even if it’s dark.
The caffeine, heating action, and stimulating effect of chocolate on this dosha are to blame. However, if you are giving yourself a treat, choose the kind of dark chocolate that contains coconut, mint, dates, vanilla or maple syrup.
And again, eat it rarely.
KAPHA (Water and Earth)
Kapha is the constitution most likely to benefit from eating this food.
Kaphas tend to feel sluggish and with low energy, and chocolate may address that issue by stimulating their minds and body. Chocolate, from an Ayurvedic perspective, is also a bronchodilator which is great news for the dosha that tends to suffer from congestion.
Choose the one that contains spices like cayenne, ginger, cloves, or cinnamon. This combination can help you reduce the heavy and moist qualities that tend to derange Kapha.
P.S, Since chocolate is such a heavy food to digest, regardless of the dosha, eat it only in small amounts.
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Monica Gisella XX