Chocolate for health and wellness
You may think:
"What is connection between health, wellness
and so delicious chocolate"?
Chocolate is getting good deal of congratulations in the medical and nutritional world these days. But in that respect nothing novel happens about this news.
South American Indians (Olmecs, Mayans and Aztecs) were the first to introduce and use chocolate, starting 1500 BC.
Masses (including doctors) back then used chocolate to address fatigue, restore normal body weight, sedate aggravated nerves, and improve digestion. It was also treasured as an exceptionally powerful aphrodisiac.
Late studies on chocolate show that it is choke-full of valuable nutrients that benefit everything from heart to temper.
However, all these benefits apply only for premium dark chocolate, but not the extremely processed, mass produced, cheap, sugary junk you can find literally everywhere.
Numerous chocolate's benefits are attributable to the fact that it contains flavonoids, which are all-powerful antioxidants.
Dark chocolate is a leader among anti-oxidant foods
Chocolate is the most powerful known free radicals scavenger food. On average anti-oxidant activity of dark chocolate is 2 times bigger than that of milk chocolate and 3-5 times higher that that of most fruits and vegetables
Most important benefits from dark chocolate consumption:
- High in antioxidants. Dark chocolate is one of the richest food sources of these crucial substances. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals - aggressive oxygen molecules that add to heart disease and cancer and accelerate aging
- Lowers blood pressure. Chocolate helps relax blood vessels so blood can flow through them easier. People who ate just over 3 ounces of premium quality dark chocolate each day reduced their blood pressure by as many as 10 points in just two weeks, according to a 2003 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association
- Rich in valuable micronutrients. Dark chocolate supplies significant amounts of potassium, zinc, magnesium, and iron. Most members of Western civilization do not get enough of these nutrients.
- Fights cancer. The high flavonoid content may have a highly protective effect against some cancers (based on the more extensive research on flavonoids in tea)
- Helps prevent clots. Chocolate makes platelets, important for clot formation, more lubricous. This protects the heart by helping prevent artery blockage
- Good for cholesterol. The fat in chocolate itself is "cholesterol neutral,” meaning that it doesn't have a negative effect on cholesterol levels. But it has been found to lower bad LDL (low density) cholesterol (5-10 percent) while leaving good HDL (high density) cholesterol the same
- Calms coughs. A recent small study from England showed that chocolate is a highly effective cough suppressant - at least as good as codeine (drug)!
- A safe, mild stimulant. Chocolate actually has relatively little caffeine, but many people notice a quick increase in alertness and improvement in mood that can last hours after eating it
- Doesn't cause acne. No connection between chocolate and acne has ever been proven. So chocolate is not an acne problem for most people
- Prevents cavities. High quality dark chocolate can help prevent teeth cavities by fighting common mouth bacteria. So do not worry about cavities when you eat chocolate
As you see, eating medium (not too much) amounts of quality dark chocolate can definitely contribute to your health and wellness.
To health and wellness