How dark organic chocolate benefits our health.
In general most of us LOVE chocolate… but as we know, all chocolate is not created equal. Some ‘chocolate’ isn’t even chocolate. White chocolate, for example, contains NO cocoa solids, so really, it is just an impersonator. Most of us have heard that dark chocolate, in a decadent world of sweet treats, can be a friend to our health if we choose wisely. To get the optimum benefits, the first choice would be to eliminate the chemicals and choose organic. The second thing to look for is cocoa solid content, the higher the better (70% is good). When the cocoa solid percentage is high it means there is less sugar and other additives, so more of the good stuff. So, let’s see how dark organic chocolate benefits our health.
Dark chocolate is actually a health food, when eaten in moderation. The nutritional properties of dark chocolate make it one of the healthiest foods around. It contains important minerals such as iron, potassium, zinc, selenium, magnesium, manganese and copper. Also, It is loaded with powerful anti-oxidants (way more than most foods) called flavonoids. These flavonoids promote healthy blood circulation and stop plaque from forming in the arteries. In a nutshell it is good for your cardiovascular system.
As part of a healthy diet dark chocolate is also helpful to cholesterol levels, as it increases the good cholesterol (HDL) and lowers the bad (LDL).
Dark chocolate can elevate our mood. Have you ever wondered why eating it makes you feel good? It’s because dark chocolate contains Phenylethylamine and Trytophan, chemicals which prompt the brain to release endorphins, These are the same ‘positive feeling’ endorphins that are associated with exercise and being love.
The good news isn’t over yet. Cocoa, apart from containing flavonoids, also contains caffeine and theobromine, which are the stimulants found in coffee and tea. These natural compounds are thought to improve alertness and so can improve brain function and memory. It’s probably not a good idea to eat it right before bed but as a study aid a few squares may just come in handy.
And last but not least, there is one more important benefit to be mentioned… the taste. The satisfaction that comes with consuming a square of high quality, dark chocolate after a great dining experience is second to none. Could this be the reason why so many restaurateurs happily pass them out to customers at the end of the meal? Is this to ensure that when we leave our mood is good (and a tip more likely) and our memories of the restaurant are positive? Maybe that is a little over the top but if its true they could definitely be on to something…
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