The many benefits of chocolate

The many benefits of chocolate

I've always worried that there may be a scarcity of chocolate.

Scientists have warned that it's only a matter of time before diseases like black rot and witches' broom endanger the global cacao supply.

In the current crisis toilet paper, for whatever reason, is in short supply. Chocolate next? So far so good. My chocolate aisle is still laden with the necessary quota of mood uplifting cacao derivatives.

Slabs of 70 per cent to 90 per cent dark chocolate line up at the ready. Dark with a dash of peppermint peep out from the

lower shelf. Milk chocolates boldly display themselves at the check out. Take me, you need me, they seem to say. When do we need chocolate?

For women, everyday but especially a certain time of the month. And as we age, it remains a necessity. I remember my grandmother opening the sock drawer before her afternoon nap.

There was the rustling of foil. Two blocks of dark chocolate were portioned out and contentedly slipped between her lips. "It helps for anemia", she told me, "all girls need their daily top up".

I have always had a stash of chocolate in various places, just in case. A few well placed pieces. Cracked teapot. The old pressure cooker.

This has been especially handy when unable to buy the daily supply. And the delight of finding a forgotten Lindt! Mine have never expired...they never get a chance to.

Chocolate contains serotonin, a mood enhancer. It also contains anti-oxidants which reduce the risk of cancer and inflammation.

It even contains dietary fibre lignin, which is good for controlling blood pressure and cholesterol. Strangely, administration of the pharmacological constituents of chocolate are not able to satisfy the craving for chocolate.

It's about the pleasure of secretly indulging in a pricey praline or and illegal After Eight that does the trick. And resisting the desire to buy the biggest Toblerone only makes the desire for one even stronger.

I've observed the chocolate aisle at the supermarket. Only women. Nervous pacing. The only one who knew her mind was a short old woman standing on tiptoes, reaching for her Nutties on the top shelf.

Still had her own teeth and was too old for guilt. For now, it's day to day with my stock safely in the back of the cupboard.

No matter what life throws my way, I have the antidote. Like my grandmother, I sometimes show the signs of a devotee. The little spot of errant chocolate staining my white top is a small price to pay.

I'm so grateful to my gran for teaching me one the the greatest secrets to life - no matter the question, chocolate is the answer!