Chocolate was first discovered from America and its earliest use dates back to the Olmec civilization in Mesoamerica.Chocolate is obtained from Theobroma cacao tree seeds.After chocolate discovery, its demand exploded and become an incredibly popular food product because of its unique, rich and sweet taste that indulges millions in it in every bite. Out of all the chocolates, dark chocolate has the richest texture and sweetest taste.
The history of chocolate is more than 2000 years old. And as a matter of fact, it didn’t start as a candy bar instead as a hot chocolate drink.
Looking for a box of chocolates on 14th February has been a tradition of young couples from centuries. Giving chocolates on Valentine’s Day is considered as a symbol of conveying sincerity and devotion to loved ones. This is the reason that sale of chocolates reaches a huge spike during the month of February. But when it comes to chocolate and the heart, the focus is on the dark stuff. Small, short-term studies suggest dark chocolate has some potential heart health benefits.
Dark Chocolate not only has a rich texture and sweet taste but also proven to be health beneficial. Dark Chocolate is loaded with tremendous nutritional values and antioxidant potential. Here are some beneficial aspects of it that positively affect your health.
Dark chocolate contains a decent amount of soluble dietary fibers, cocoa contents, and minerals.Quality dark chocolate is rich in iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, potassium and few other minerals.it also contains stimulant like caffeine and theobromine that makes us alert.
Good For Reducing Stress:
Dark chocolate contains valeric acid, which acts as a relaxant and tranquilizer, which not only reduces stress but also has calming and pain relieving effects. Eating chocolates is pleasurable as it causes the release of endorphins which inculcate a sense of wellbeing.
Chocolate because of its low glycemic index (GI) gives long lasting energy effects without raising blood sugar levels too quickly. It is also a good source of chromium as it makes glucose available to cells.
Chocolate Digest Milk:
Chocolate is good for lactose intolerance patients as it showed a significant reduction in bloating, cramping and diarrhea.Because cocoa stimulates lactase enzyme activity in the intestine. (Lactase digest lactose, the sugar found in milk).
Powerful Source of Antioxidants:
The raw, unprocessed cocoa beans are among the highest scoring antioxidants containing foods. Dark chocolate contains biologically active organic compounds that functions as antioxidants including flavonoids, catechins, polyphenols etc.
Improves Blood Pressure:
The flavonoids in cocoa and dark chocolate improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure as it causes the production of Nitric oxide(NO) from endothelial lining of arteries which relax arteries and lowers resistance to blood flow.
Increases HDL and Lowers LDL Oxidation:
Cocoa beans contain polyphenols antioxidants which prevent LDL oxidation and protect lipoproteins against oxidative damage.It also improves insulin insensitivity and HDL levels in the bloodstream.
Lowers risk of cardiovascular diseases:
The regular intake of Dark chocolate lowers the risk of calcified plaque formation by lowering LDL oxidation and blood pressure thus overcoming cardiovascular diseases.
Protects Your Skin:
The bioactive flavones compounds in dark chocolate improve blood flow to the skin, increases skin density and hydration thus protecting against sun-induced damage.
Improves Brain Function:
Consuming high flavonol cocoa improves blood flow to the brain.It also improves verbal fluency and cognitive functions in people with mental impairment.Besides containing caffeine and theobromine, it also contains some other stimulants which improve brain function in short term.
Besides for its awesome taste, rich velvety texture and health benefits you can not consume lots of chocolate every day as it is still loaded with sugar contents and lots of calories. A standard chocolate bar contains 200 to 300 calories. The high sugar contents may cause tooth decay and weight gain. Too much chocolate consumption may cause poor bone density and osteoporosis.
All in all, besides healthy aspects to chocolates, there are also some negative aspects to it. As ever, moderation is key. So, enjoy your dark chocolate in moderation.