Boy does that chocolate smell good! I must have some Chocolate, right now! Does any of this sound familiar? So let’s talk about that mouth-watering chocolate that many of use crave. What else could taste so good and be good for you like–Chocolate? I am going to teach you some valuable information about chocolate so next time you eat chocolate you choose the healthy variety and then you wouldn’t have to feel guilty. While chocolate is regularly eaten for pleasure, there are potential beneficial health effects! Just enjoy it!
Chocolate is one of the most sought after foods in modern science. Many ancient cultures used chocolate and they were devoted to chocolate for its exceptional taste and surprising health benefits.
Pure chocolate is derived from the seeds of the Theobroma cacao plant which grows naturally in South America, parts of Africa, and the West Indies. This tree was cultivated in Mexico and in Central and South America and cacao products were used at that time as a form of currency.
The cacao bean is the seed of the fruit, has often been considered as a culinary nut and is a super-food rich in anti-oxidants phytonutrients. Using raw cacao in the form of powder, bars, chips, or any other form is incredibility healthy approach. When cacao seeds are roasted this processed is called cocoa. They do lose some of their nutrients, but cocoa and cacao are both high in flavonoid polyphenols which have powerful anti-oxidant effects. The less processing performed the more health values to cacao.
Cocoa and cacao also contain theobromine, which is a bitter alkaloid that is similar to caffeine, except it is not addictive. Theobromine has powerful vasodilating effects and is used in treatment for swelling and edema. It is also a diuretic and natural cardiovascular stimulant that enhances oxygen flow to various regions of the body, which the improved blood flow stimulates cognitive functions and improves memory.
The average American consumes 11 pounds of chocolate yearly. Unfortunately, a lot of the American’s consumption of chocolate is in the form of ice cream, pastries, candy bars that are all highly processed. They are loaded with trans-fatty acid, pasteurized dairy, sugar, artificial flavorings and preservatives. Of course we know these are all highly toxic to our bodies. Researchers credit the majority of American society’s craving to the sugar and artificial flavorings that are usually added, rather than the Chocolate.
Other health effects of chocolate include both positive and negative:
Dark chocolate is especially beneficial. In fact, many experts recommend eating one or two ounces of dark chocolate every day.
Cocoa or dark chocolate benefits the circulatory system. Other beneficial effects suggested include anticancer, brain stimulator, cough preventers, reduced risk of heart disease and anti-diarrhea effects. It has been claimed that chocolate has an aphrodisiac effect, but is yet to be a well supported with scientific evidence.
Recent studies have also suggested that cocoa or dark chocolate may have certain beneficial effects on human health. This is mainly caused by a particular substance present in cocoa called epicatechin.
A study published in April 2007 in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that cocoa was more effective at lowering blood pressure than green or black tea.
Research on rats has determined that increased chocolate intake enhances inflammatory chemicals, suppressing the symptoms of migraines.
Chocolate absorbs lead from the environment during production and there is concern of mild lead poisoning for some types of chocolate. Chocolate is toxic to many animals because of insufficient capacity to metabolize theobromine which is not necessarily true in humans. Evidence has not been tested on humans.
I hope that if you are a chocolate lover like many of us that you will make sure that you make the healthiest choices when purchasing chocolate, which is the dark organic chocolate. Go ahead and indulgent and enjoy every bite!
Quote of the Day: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly! – Antoine de Saint Exupery