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Chocolate & Health

Discussion in 'Health Care & Wellness' started by LadyDeath, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. LadyDeath

    LadyDeath Senior Marketing Officer
    Staff Member

    Jun 9, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Now i soo love this post yes! Chocolate is good for you this is something new

    It's good for the environment
    Cacao (also called cocoa) is the seed of a rainforest tree, so growing it helps support endangered rainforest areas. And eating chocolate is not only good for the rainforest ecology, it can also be good for the farmers whose incomes depend on that land. "Ninety percent of cacao is grown by small family farms in rainforest areas," says Frederick Schilling, founder of Dagoba Organic Chocolate. "So by default, it's a sustainable crop." Better yet, to ensure that family farmers are benefiting from your dollar, seek out chocolate labeled "fair trade certified."

    It's good for your mood
    Chocolate contains hundreds of different chemicals, some of which are thought to act like antidepressants on the brain. Eating chocolate stimulates the release of mood-affecting chemicals such as endorphins, phenylethylamine and serotonin. These feel-good chemicals may also explain why women often crave chocolate when they are suffering from PMS. Serotonin levels often drop in the days before menstruation begins, so eating chocolate can help boost those levels and improve one's mood.

    It packs more antioxidants than a bowl of blueberries
    Cocoa beans -- the primary building block of chocolate -- are a rich source of antioxidants. Specifically, they contain flavanols, antioxidants found in various plants that work to protect the body from damaging molecules called free radicals. These flavanols (which are also found in various berries, fruits, vegetables, red wine and tea) have also been shown to have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system -- especially reducing blood pressure and helping to promote healthy blood flow.

    It's not bad for your cholesterol
    Thanks to those same antioxidant flavanols, chocolate has been shown to actually help raise HDL (the good cholesterol) and lower LDL (the bad one), which, in turn, helps prevent plaque from building up in the arteries. Perfectly pure cocoa is a cholesterol-free food -- of course, the addition of milk and cocoa butter will add artery-clogging fat to chocolate.

    It actually contains nutrients
    The cocoa bean is rich in vitamins B1, B2 and D, as well as the essential minerals magnesium and iron. While no one is suggesting that you substitute a chocolate bar for your daily multivitamin, it's nice to know that the treat isn't made up of entirely empty calories.

    It won't give you a caffeine buzz
    Cocoa does indeed contain some caffeine, but you'll have to eat quite a bit to give yourself the jolt of a single-shot latte. An ounce of milk chocolate contains only about 6 milligrams of caffeine, while an ounce of dark chocolate contains about 20 milligrams. By comparison, a cup of brewed coffee can have up to 120 milligrams and even an average can of cola packs about 35 milligrams of caffeine.

    It can be light, dark and many shades in between
    More and more chocolate bar labels proclaim the percentage of cocoa in the bar. "That percentage is a general indicator of how rich and dark the chocolate will be," says Schilling. "The higher the percentage, the darker the chocolate." A higher percentage of cocoa will also mean that the chocolate contains a larger amount of antioxidants, since the cocoa powder is what gives chocolate its antioxidant punch.

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