The idea of chocolate as a comfort feels intuitive and natural. And these days we even have the science to show how this works. So it’s the perfect comfort food for grief.
And it makes sense to turn this rich, feel good substance – known the world over for these qualities – into part of our support for the grieving.
“Eating chocolate has been proven to stimulate our bodies to release ‘feel good’ chemicals, like endorphins, and may interact with other neurotransmitter systems – such as Serotonin and Dopamine,” says Australian cooking and media personality, Lyndey Milan.
“The interactions with these systems influence your mood, appetite, and reward regulation,” she says.
“In short chocolate can improve our mood.”
It’s a big chocolatey hug.
So making a chocolate cake like this Simple Chocolate Sour Cream Cake with Coffee Spiced Dates for a bereaved family member or friend can work on a number of levels
“It shows you care, means they have something in the house for others who drop in, but also might just make them feel a bit better.
“Your offering it will be like a big chocolatey hug.”
To explore this further, read research director at the French National Institute of Health and Medical ResearchAstrid Nehlig’s fascinating article The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance.
“On the basis of the present knowledge, it appears that the benefits from moderate cocoa or chocolate consumption likely outweigh the possible risks,” she says.
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And for the link to Lyndey’s recipe, for Simple Chocolate Sour Cream Cake with Coffee Spiced Dates, click here.
In this occasional series Lyndey, Australian cooking and media personality, shares ‘Comfort Food for Grief’ – wholesome ideas for special foods to comfort you or those you love, during difficult emotional times.
When we met it was immediately clear there was a strong connection between our missions. Lyndey is passionate about food – and the way it brings people together – for the better. Margaret is passionate about providing comfort for those who are grieving.
How wonderful to be able to bring these two ideas together, wrapping grief in the practical support that food brings to this very human experience, which we all have to go through.