Are We Chocoholics?
23 May, 2013
IT is hard to find someone who has not eaten chocolate. Have you ever thought that chocolate might be good for your health although your doctor would tell you that it is too sweet and too fat for us? Chocolate has host of health benefits and is good for just about every part of body. It makes you slim, smart and happy, gives you energy, prevents wrinkles, and slows down muscle ageing.
Chocolates are of different shades. Dark chocolate is
packed with flavanoids (naturally-occurring compounds found in plant-based foods that release certain health benefits). A small bar a day can reduce the bad cholesterol. Phenols (an aromatic organic compound, mildly acidic, but requires careful handling due to its propensity to cause burns) help prevent fat like substances in the blood stream from oxidizing and clogging the arteries.
Dark and raw chocolate has other wonderful side effects. Chocolate contains bromine and caffeine which are stimulants. It contains serotonin (a chemical produced naturally in your brain that affects the way you feel, for example making you feel happier, calmer, or less hungry) which increases feeling of joy and stimulates endorphins (occurs naturally in the brain that bind to pain receptors and so block pain sensation), giving us feeling of pleasure. Dark chocolate has far more antioxidants (a substance that inhibits oxidation, esp. one used to counteract the deterioration of stored food products) than milk or white chocolate. Dark chocolate has 65 percent or higher cocoa content. It may taste good but some research shows that washing your chocolate down with a glass of milk could prevent the antioxidants being absorbed or used by your body.
Although chocolate is sweet and pleasant, there are some disadvantages associated with eating this food. Chocolate is a rich food with a high sugar and fat content, so regular consumption of chocolate requires reducing the caloric intake of other foods. It has high levels of arginine (plays an important role in cell division, the healing of wounds, removing ammonia from the body, immune function, and the release of hormones) which is required in the replication of the herpes virus.
Chocolate should be avoided by those with active or recurring herpes infections. If you are buying chocolate, look for one with a cocoa content of 70 percent or higher. Avoid dark chocolate with caramel, marshmallow and nougat, which add more calories and fat with no additional health benefit. To know more about chocolates, dark chocolate with berries add additional antioxidant power.
Many of us would admit love for chocolate bars, cocoa, truffles, cakes, shakes and cookies, and there should be nothing wrong about it because they are really amazing! The popular saying has it that we are what we eat. I agree – in this case I am a chocolate bar. LOL!