Most people do love chocolate. I love chocolate so much that when I purchase chocolate chips to make cookies, I have to purchase two bags because I know I’m going to have the other bag consumed before I get started. So, what does a person do who has such a chocolate addiction? First, I accept that I’m not perfect, grab a handful of chocolate chips then concentrate on finding the silver lining. And here’s what I’ve found.
Chocolate, processed from cocao seeds, is one of the most loved and misunderstood foods on this planet. For many years, chocolate has been shrugged off as an unhealthy, sweet treat when in actuality it is the refined sugar added in excess that makes this healthy and natural food a not so healthy and natural food.
THE MAGNIFICENT HEALTH BENEFITS OF DARK CHOCOLATE
From the Mercola studies, chemists of the American Chemist Society, have found, from simulating the human digestive system in test tubes, that cocoa contains certain molecules. These molecules called, polyphenolic polymers, when broken down into smaller molecules becomes an anti-inflammatory which acts as a preventative to certain cardiovscular diseases. In other studies, scientists have also found out that dark chocolate can also contribute to lowering blood pressure. The anti-oxidant flavanoids that are found in dark chocolate may very well be the cause.
Dark chocolate can also produce a boost in the brain. Many thought that it was because of the caffeine chocolate contains but recent studies have revealed that, due to an extremely important compound known as resveratrol, not only can chocolate have a positive effect on one’s cognitive and emotional stability, but it may also prolong the life of an individual as well.
THE BEAUTY OF CHOCOLATE
German researchers have also determined that dark chocolate may contain substances that can protect the skin from the sun’s uv rays. Through studies, dark chocolate has also revealed that women who drank 1/2 a cup of cocoa per day for 12 weeks that contained 329 milligrams of antioxidants per portion, experienced smoother, softer, younger looking skin as a result.
HOW TO GET THE BEST BENEFITS FROM DARK CHOCOLATE
- Eat only 2 oz. (50 grams) of dark chocolate with a minimum content of 70% chocolate solids a day, says whatscookingamerica.net. Any more will lead to unintentional weight gain.
- Take capsules made from cocoa bean extract. From these capsules you can benefit from the antioxidants that is in dark chocolate with very few calories.
- Purchase low sugar dark chocolate. While sugar is often used to produce dark chocolate candy bars, the amount is considerably less than what is found in milk or white chocolate. When looking at the ingredients in dark chocolate, make sure that sugar is listed as the last ingredient, and stay away from dark chocolate candy with fillings such as caramel and cremes.
So, when biting into another piece of dark chocolate don’t feel guilty. The chocolate is actually doing your body a lot of good.