Cocoa health benefits
A Famous Quote says that:
"Chocolate is nature’s way of making up for Mondays."
We all love chocolates. The lucious, creamy, tender taste and smell can turn anyone one. No doubt, chocolates are considered to be one of the most popular gifts for loved ones. It also works as a best way to take a break from the regular diet regime.
The first and the foremost thing that comes to our minds along with the word 'chocolate' is - What to do with the calorie intake?
Then here comes the good news; Chocolate is healthy. Well, basically chocolate consists of certain fats, which do not effect your cholesterol. The fats in chocolate are one third oleic acid, one third stearic acid and one third palmitic acid.
What are these acids?
- Oleic Acid is basically a healthy monounsaturated fat, which is mostly found in olive oil.
- Stearic Acid is a saturated fat but according to the researches done, it has quite minimal effect on cholesterol.
- Palmitic Acid is again a saturated fat, which is the thing we need to care about while consuming any food as it raises cholesterol and heart disease risk.
So, this means that apart from the health benefits of chocolate, only one-third of the fat that comes in chocolate can cause you some harm, and you can have chocolates every day without worrying too much about your diet ( as long as you balance the intake and have the right kind of chocolate in right amount).
Apart from this, chocolate has many health benefits as well, especially when it comes to the dark chocolate nutrition.
Anti-Oxidants and Flavonoids
- Anti-oxidants are extremely helpful in protecting the body from aging process.
- Some of the antioxidants benefits also include prevention of heart diseases and other related heart problems.
- Flavonoids also assist in relaxing blood pressure and in balancing of certain body hormones.
- A pure dark chocolate contains more cocoa than milk chocolate or white chocolate, hence dark chocolates have more flavonoids and hence further more nutritional benefits.
Some know-how about chocolates and where they come from
Chocolates come from plants, hence are enriched with many health benefits that come with the vegetables. The basic ingredient is cocoa, which has large amount of flavonoids that are excellent anti-oxidants.
Studies show that dark chocolates have almost 8 times more antioxidants than strawberries because of their richness in flavonoids.
Following are some of the many health benefits provided by the Dark Chocolate:
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1) For a Healthy Heart:
You know that your tongue loves it. But, did you know that your heart loves it too (emotionally as well as biologically)? A little amount of dark chocolate everyday can keep your heart and other cardiovascular activities healthy and running fine.
2) For a Healthy Blood Pressure:
People with high blood pressure problems can consume a dark chocolate bar daily to bring their blood pressure down.
3) For safe Cholesterol level:
Studies have also shown dark chocolate to reduce LDL cholesterol (the one that is bad to your heart!) by up to 10%.
4) For Healing Liver Related Problems like Cirrhosis:
A Spanish research has shown that a particular dose of dark chocolate can help patients with liver disease as well, since it contains potent anti-oxidants, which reduce the post-prandial (after-meal) blood pressure in the liver (or portal hypertension) associated with damaged liver blood vessels (endothelial dysfunction).
5) Increase in sugar metabolism of body:
Flavonoids help in increasing the sugar metabolism of your body and hence in reducing the risk of diabetes. A group of Italian scientists performed a test on 15 people, who had blood pressure in the normal range, and asked them to take 100 grams of dark chocolate every day for 15 days. This particular dark chocolate diet, not only made a drop in their blood pressure, but also improved the functioning of insulin in them.
6) Boosting the brain functions:
Cocoa is rich in flavanol, which can help in boosting the brain function by enhancing the blood flow to the brain. Hence, dark chocolate that has more cocoa can assist in delaying the loss of brain function that comes with aging.
7) Excellent anti-depressant:
Chocolates are well known to help getting over with mood swings. Chocolates come with a compound called phenylethylamine, which help in overcoming low moods. The reduction in a ‘feel-good’ chemical called serotonin in our bodies, tells us why our bodies begin to seek out sugary foods like chocolate whenever we feel low or down.
Tips on intake of fine dark chocolate
1) Make sure to go for a quality chocolate, when you buy the chocolate and that it comes with at least 60 percent cocoa in it.
2) Don't drink milk with chocolate: Drinking milk with chocolate can counter some of its health benefits.
3) If you want to have dark chocolates for health reasons, make it sure that you eat it in moderate amount.
Apart from above mentioned tips, remember that consuming chocolates may lead to high calorie consumption. Hence, if you are a heart patient, then you need to balance out the chocolate calories with other nutrient-rich foods. Write a daily calorie consumption diary and balance your calorie intake accordingly.