The benefits of chocolate
Chocolate is probably the most popular dessert in the world. According to statistics, about 7 billion dollars is spent on it, while the greatest amount of chocolate is sold in late fall. The Swiss are the top consumers of chocolate (an average of 10 kg per year).
There are several types of chocolate; dark, milk and white. Dark chocolate is considered to be the healthiest one as it only contains minimal amounts of sugar and does not contain either cream or milk. It is good for one’s stomach, heart and brain. Dark chocolate is also nutritious and does not raise the blood sugar level. Despite the wholesomeness of this chocolate type, it can be stated with confidence that milk chocolate is more popular. It is also sweeter and contains more calories due to cream and milk. On the other hand, milk chocolate is a source of protein and calcium. As for white chocolate, it is the same milk chocolate without grated cocoa in it. White chocolate is not entirely unhealthy but it similarly lacks useful qualities due to concentrations of sugar and other additives. However, white chocolate is a source of calcium, which has positive effects on the bones, muscles, heart and nervous system.
By the way, the wide-spread opinion that chocolate is fattening is not quite true; 30 grams of chocolate per day before afternoon has no negative impact on either organism or figure. Chocolate is a natural aphrodisiac; apart from caffeine, it contains phenyl ethylamine which is known for its mood boosting effect. It also produces happiness hormones, serotonin and endorphin, which relieve psychological stress and pain.
Main useful properties of chocolate
Chocolate is good for heart and blood circulation
Recent studies have shown that dark chocolate helps restore the elasticity of veins, while preventing the accumulation of leukocytes on the vessel walls.
Chocolate reduces stroke risks
Finnish scientists have revealed that chocolate consumption reduces stroke risks by 17 percent on average.
Chocolate is rich in minerals
100 grams of dark chocolate contains iron:
- Iron - 11.9 mg / about 67 percent of daily intake /
- Magnesium - 228 mg
- Protein - 7.79 g
- Potassium - 715 mg
- Fat - 42.63 g
- Zinc - 3.31 mg
Chocolate lowers cholesterol levels
Cocoa, the main component of chocolate, is proved to lower the “bad” cholesterol concentration and increase the levels of the “good” one, thus reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Benevolent effects on the skin
The flavanols contained in dark chocolate protect the skin from UV rays and associated negative consequences.
Chocolate helps to lose weight
Neurologist Will Clauer claims the brain produces hormones that bring forth a feeling of satiety when one puts a small piece of chocolate on one’s tongue; this means less food consumption than usual.
Chocolate is good for mothers and kids
According to Finnish studies, chocolate reduces stress levels with expectant mothers, while making their babies more smiley.
Chocolate helps prevent diabetes
Cocoa and chocolate are consumed when it is necessary to improve insulin sensitivity. In moderate doses, chocolate can reduce the risks of diabetes development.
Chocolate is useful for brain activity
Flavanols prevent memory loss with the elderly and also have an anti-inflammatory effect, which is particularly effective during treatment of brain injuries, such as concussions.