Chocolate (n.) – a delicious cure for a bad day.
What is chocolate?
Chocolate is commonly known as a food product made from roasted cacao pods, which is then grounded.
These cacao seeds have a bitter taste and therefore need to be fermented to develop the flavor and aroma.
Interesting fact is that cacao seeds have to be harvested by hand because machinery could injure the trees.
Chocolate is one the most popular flavors in the World.
Chocolate is definitely one of the most famous food types or flavors in the world, and there are different types:
- Dark Chocolate
- Milk Chocolate
- White Chocolate
- Baking Chocolate
- Modeling Chocolate
- Cocoa powder
- Compound Chocolate
- Semi sweet chocolate
- Unsweetened Chocolate
The healthiest chocolate is however dark chocolate
7 Proven Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
It contains a decent amount of soluble fiber and is loaded with minerals. Quality dark chocolate has fiber, iron, magnesium, copper and a few other minerals.
- A Source of Antioxidants
Dark chocolate contains organic components that are biologically active and function as antioxidants.
Cocoa and dark chocolate have a wide variety of antioxidants. In fact they have more than some foods.
- Improve Blood flow and Lower Blood Pressure
The bioactive compounds in cocoa may improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but significant decrease in blood pressure.
- Raises HDL and protects LDL from oxidation
Eating dark chocolate can help improve several important risks of heart disease.
It lowers the susceptibility of the LDL to oxidative damage while increasing the HDL and improving insulin sensitivity.
- Reduce Heart Disease risks
The compounds in dark chocolate seem to be highly protective against the oxidation of LDL.
In the long term, this should cause less cholesterol to lodge in the arteries, Which results in a lower risk of heart disease.
Observational studies show a reduction in heart disease risk amongst those who ate the most chocolate.
- Protect your skin from the sun
The bioactive compounds are also good for your skin. The flavanols from the cocoa improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against the sun.
- Improve Brain Function
Cocoa and dark chocolate can improve brain function by increasing blood flow, and it also contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine.
There is decent evidence that cocoa can provide health benefits, however this does not in any way mean that dark chocolate should be consumed in large amounts every day.
An important note is that a lot of the chocolate on the shelves these days is not nutritious. So you should pick quality dark chocolate with a 70% or higher cocoa content.
How much dark chocolate should one eat a day?
Dark chocolate is indeed still chocolate meaning it is high in saturated fats and calories.
To avoid gaining weight it is recommended that you should eat no more than 1 ounce (oz.) a day.