The benefits of chocolate
Substances contained in dark chocolate reduce blood cholesterol, improve the functioning of our heart, protect the skin from premature aging, from the appearance of wrinkles, and prevent dementia in old age.
Substances – phenamine, serotonin, phenethylamine, and others create a feeling of falling in love, increase sexuality, improve mood and a person’s feelings of anxiety go away, help with stress and fight depression.
Caffeine and theobromine contribute to an increase in human creativity and performance, improve memory and attention.
Dark chocolate is good for women during critical days.
The content of fluoride, calcium, and antiseptic substances in dark chocolate strengthens bones and teeth, suppresses the formation of plaque.
And flavonoids – antioxidants contained in cocoa prevent the formation of blood clots in blood vessels, have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation, protect from ultraviolet radiation.
Chocolate has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system, protecting it from atherosclerosis. It contains vitamin F, which lowers blood cholesterol levels and reduces the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes.
The harm of chocolate
25-30 grams of dark chocolate a day will bring great benefits to the body, but excess consumption of chocolate can be harmful to health.
It is undesirable for young children to feast on chocolate, as the nervous system is overexcited, and the child will be capricious, it will be difficult to calm him down, he will not be able to fall asleep for a long time. It is undesirable for children under five years old to consume dark chocolate, and many children do not like such chocolate because it tastes bitter. For a three-year-old child, it is better to eat milk or white chocolate, but in very small quantities.
You should not eat chocolate in large quantities even in the evening, insomnia may appear.
Since chocolate is a high-calorie food, excessive consumption of it is fraught with fat storage and weight gain.
Some people get headaches from chocolate because the tannin in cocoa constricts the blood vessels. Such people are advised to better consume white chocolate, which does not contain cocoa.
Chocolate enhances the secretion of the sebaceous glands, so its daily use can cause significant skin problems and provoke allergic reactions.
The history of chocolate
Chocolate was invented even before Columbus discovered America. It was made from cocoa beans. The Aztec and Maya tribes used chocolate as a base for drinks and sauces. Cocoa beans were ground and mixed with water to produce sweet and bitter drinks intended exclusively for the elite and priests. The chocolate itself was made from toasted and ground, fermented Theobroma cacao beans. It grew in the lowlands of the tropics of Central and South America, in Mexico. Currently, this tree is cultivated in all tropical countries.
The healthiest chocolate is dark or dark. The composition of dark chocolate should contain a large amount of grated cocoa from 60% or more and cocoa butter, sugar, but milk and vegetable oils should not be. Chocolate contains magnesium, calcium, fluoride, iron, and is rich in antioxidants. Bitter chocolate comes with all kinds of additives: nuts, raisins, and other fillers.
Milk chocolate is the most common and favorite of all types of chocolate but does not have the health benefits of dark chocolate. Dairy products are added to the composition of milk chocolate: milk powder and milk fat, cocoa butter or cocoa powder, sugar, various flavors, and all kinds of fillers.
There is no cocoa in white chocolate, but there is about 40% fat in it and the benefits of white chocolate are minimal. The composition of white chocolate includes: powdered sugar, milk powder, cocoa butter, vanilla, and salt are added.
These are perhaps the healthiest sweets when it comes to a quality product. The benefits of chocolates directly depend on their composition. The fewer unnatural ingredients they contain, such as dyes, flavors, preservatives, and others, the better, of course. The composition of chocolates must necessarily include cocoa products. Today, most often manufacturers make them from cocoa powder; cocoa liquor is rarely found in the list of components. In addition, dozens of ingredients can be included in the composition of chocolates: dairy products, fats, including vegetable fats, sugar, and various fillers. Depending on the composition, the calorie content of chocolates can range from 400 to 600 kcal per 100 g of product.
The cocoa found in chocolates contains proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, B vitamins, some minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and iron, some caffeine, and many other useful substances. Given the fact that candies are consumed in small quantities, it can hardly be argued that all these substances will bring tangible benefits to the body, but this delicacy still has one indisputable quality. Chocolate candies cheer you up, and this is due to the fact that they contain substances that promote the synthesis of serotonin – the so-called hormone of joy. For the production of this “happy” substance, the amino acid tryptophan, magnesium, B vitamins, and carbohydrates are needed – all of which are in chocolate sweets. However, it should be borne in mind that only sugar will remain in a cheap low-quality product from this list.
The healthiest chocolates, of course, are truffles, which contain the largest amount of cocoa products.
Otherwise, the benefits and harms of chocolates are determined by their fillers. Chocolates with fruits such as prunes, apricots, or cherries are very popular. This filling is very useful for the body. Dried fruits contain large amounts of natural sugars, fiber, various vitamins, and minerals. Nut filling is no less useful, but you should choose candies with whole nuts, and not with crushed nuts since the latter are most often waste products from other products. Nuts contain a rich vitamin and mineral complex, vegetable oils, fiber, and many other substances. The most useful are almonds, hazelnuts (hazelnuts), and walnuts.
Chocolate candies with all kinds of alcoholic fillings are also very common: they contain rum, liqueurs, vodka. In those small amounts that are added to candy, alcohol is good for the body. Small doses of alcoholic beverages have a calming, relaxing, vasodilating, and hypotensive effect.
Good quality filled chocolates, when consumed in moderation, will certainly do more good than harm to the body. However, it should be understood that they cannot be cheap. The low price of chocolates can only mean that they contain low-quality, low-grade ingredients.