Something to Learn About Chocolate

By on December 27, 2013

Chocolate comes from the seeds of the Cacao tree. Chocolate has a lot of variety for example are dark, unsweetened, white, milk, bittersweet and more which depends on what it is mixed with it.

To form unsweetened chocolate, cacao seed are roasted and crushed. When it was subjected to pressure, the fat of the seed also known as cocoa butter comes out. The remains of the cocoa seed is dried to make cocoa powder.

Processed or commercial chocolates are composed of chocolate liquor or unsweetened chocolate, milk, cocoa butter and sugar. When amount of cacao is increased, it becomes darker chocolate thus, starts to have darker color and more intense flavor.

Chocolate is considered as a functional food because it does not only provide basic nutrients but also has health benefits.

Here are some reasons why it is good to our health :

1. Chocolate helps in decreasing stroke risk

According to a Swedish study, among women, eating more than 45g of chocolate per week led 20% decrease in stroke. It is due to the flavonoids found in cocoa.

According to a review study published in “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition”;  Catechins (class of flavonoid)  found in dark chocolate are said to be  4 times greater than in those of tea. These has antioxidant properties which help stifle the oxidation of bad cholesterol. We must note though that the darker chocolate has more amount of flavonoids.

2. Chocolate helps reduce likelihood of heart attack

Chocolate prevent blood clots which reduces the risk of heart attack according to some studies. The blood platelets clump with each other the studies say.

Daily eating of chocolate helps lower blood pressure and it also helps in improving blood flow in our arteries. Having a bite of chocolate will surely help you especially if you’re someone who has high blood pressure.

3. Chocolates protects us against blood inflammation

A study from 2008 found out that eating one Hershey dark chocolate bar per week will decrease risk of heart disease. Consuming 6.7g of dark chocolate a day will keep away the blood inflammation-inducing proteins.

4. Chocolate helps in math

It is found out that flavanols found in chocolate helps people in mental math by a British psychologists. The subjects of the study had an easier approach with math after drinking a cup of chocolate compared to when they did not.

5.Chocolate helps prevent cancer

Cocoa, which chocolate is made from, has pentameric procyanidin which disrupts the cancer cell’s ability to multiply.

6. Chocolate helps reduce risk of diabetes

A study from the University of L’Aquilla in Italy, says that eating chocolate increases our sensitivity to insulin thus reduces risk of diabetes.

7. Chocolate is also good for you skin

It is dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has flavonoids which protects women’s skin from UV rays of the sun; that is according to a German scientists.

8. Chocolate helps control cough

Chocolate has theobromine which seems to help reduce the activity of our vagus nerve, it is the part of our brain which is responsible for our coughs.

9. Chocolate helps improve blood flow

A study in Harvard in 2008 forced it’s subjects to undergo two weeks of enhanced chocolate intake. They found out that blood flow sped up on the subject’s middle cerebral arteries. This means that more chocolate more blood that comes to your brain.

10. Chocolate helps strengthen brain

The researchers of Johns Hopkins University found out that dark chocolate helps the cells in your brain shield and protect them from damages caused by stroke.

11. Chocolate helps you live longer

Jeanne Louise Calment who lived until the age of 122 said that she eats two and half pounds of chocolate per week.

Eating chocolate add two years to life expectancy according to Harvard researchers.

12. Chocolate is rich in fiber
Eating chocolate gives us a big amount of fiber. This makes us full for longer period of time. Darker chocolates has more fiber because it has high cacao content. Eating chocolates reduces our crave for fatty, sweet and salty foods.

According to Mayo Clinic, fiber has two classifications. The soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps lower blood sugar and cholesterol. Insoluble fiber helps promote digestive health by bulking up our stool for it to be ensured and eliminated easily by our body.

 

Chocolates found on stores though were heavily processed and has lost most of it’s healthy compounds. So don’t buy too much of that. Another thing is that it is  said that some research about chocolate’s healthy advantages are paid by chocolate manufacturers.