Due to the fat content in chocolate, it was highly criticised in the past while its intake was associated with high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, acne and coronary artery disease. However, for its incredible antioxidant potential, chocolate is lauded today. Recent studies shows that, if taken in moderation and especially dark chocolate can have a number of health benefits especially to the cardiovascular system. This is because chocolate contain the following:
They assist plants by protecting them from environmental toxins. They also help the plants tissues to repair damage. Flavonoids are found in foods such as fruits, vegetables and in the cocoa seeds. When we eat chocolate, we benefit from the flavonoids by acquiring their antioxidant nature. Antioxidants help the body to resist damage posed by free radicals in the air formed from normal body processes like breathing and environmental pollutants.
These are the main type of flavonoids found in cocoa and chocolate. Apart from having the antioxidant features, flavanols are able to lower the blood pressure, improve the flow of blood from the brain to the heart, and improve the clotting nature of the platelets. Flavanols are also able to assist the platelets reduce stickiness.
Chocolate has the unique ability of stimulating the secretion of endorphins. Endorphins are responsible for the production of a pleasurable sensation similar to that which a runner feels after running for several miles. That is the reason why most people consume chocolate when they are stressed. Endorphins bring the comforting mood and restore a sense of well-being in a person.
Chocolates have a neurotransmitter serotonin, which acts as the anti-depressant. Serotonin modulates the mood of the neurotransmitter. High levels of serotonin in the body can give rise to a feeling of happiness.
This is another neurotransmitter found in chocolate. This compound targets the same brain component that (tetrahydrocannabinol) an ingredient in cannabis target. It also contain two other chemicals that prolong the breakdown of anandamine and hence prolong the presence of this stimulant in the brain. This is why there is a sudden feel of flash animation once you have ingested chocolate.
Cocoa component of dark chocolate
These products found in dark chocolate aid in reducing hypertension. There has been a significant decrease of both systolic and diastolic blood pressure amongst elderly participants who were advised to eat 100 grams of dark chocolate for period of two weeks.
Cocoa contains minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, which help in the general health of an individual. A good example is amongst premenstrual women who often crave for chocolate. This craving may be due to the body’s attempt to restore this magnesium lost from their bodies.
Theobromine is a chemical found in chocolates that acts as stimulant. This chemical affects the nervous system and is able to cause mental and physical relaxation. Theobromine, which is a stimulant, causes relaxation and increases alertness. This chemical is the one that is responsible for the caffeine effect in chocolate.
Therefore, before you turn away that bar of chocolate the next time you go to the supermarket, think about these benefits and pick one. This might just be as good as your EHIC medical card as it ensures that you do not worry about another medical pre-existing illness like cardiovascular conditions.