I have always been fascinated by chocolates. That dark brown substance calls out to me almost every time. I have never really known why until now.
Did you know chocolates are very healthy? More healthy than all those junks you stock your fridge with?
Chocolates are natural substances found in cocoa fruit.
Naturally, the cocoa fruit is not sweet. When the substance is extracted and processed, it is sweetened with sugar. Research has shown chocolate to be of immense benefit health-wise.
Chocolates are loaded with minerals. Dark chocolate contains iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium in substantial amounts. However, the sugar content in chocolate makes it unadvisable to consume it in large quantities per day.
You probably didn’t think there will be any fat in chocolate. The fatty acid found mostly in cocoa and its powder (chocolate) is an oleic fatty acid, stearic acid, and palmitic acid. The oleic fatty acid is heart friendly. It is a healthy fat also found in olive oil. Steric acid has little or no effect on cholesterol while palmitic acid rises cholesterol levels, however, it is just one-third of the total fat calories.
Dark chocolate is full of organic compounds that function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, and so on. Antioxidants help the body to get rid of free radicals that may pose a threat to the body.
A study by Stephen Crozier et al, 2011, (Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products), that compared cocoa powder with several other plant powders showed that the cocoa powder had more antioxidant activities, polyphenols, and flavanols than the others.
Prevents LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) From Oxidizing
HDL is also known as the “good” cholesterol. Consumption of chocolate can decrease the levels of LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein, also known as “bad” cholesterol) in the body. Due to the function of antioxidants in chocolate, LDL will find it difficult to oxidize. Oxidation gives rise to the production of free radicals which can lead to cancer and other diseases. LDL can not harm the body if it is not oxidized. The function of antioxidants stops this from happening.
Reduces Heart Disease
Due to the powerful effect of antioxidants on LDL, it is safe to say that the consumption of quality dark chocolate can help to reduce the chances of heart disease.
Cholesterol in excess clogs the arteries and blocks the heart. If nothing is done immediately, the heart begins to suffer, and this results in heart disease. The antioxidants in chocolate keep LDL stable. That means that arteries will remain open and free and the heart will remain healthy.
In conclusion, chocolates are very healthy. The presence of sugar used to sweeten it means it shouldn’t be taken excessively. Research is still ongoing on its importance in the body but so far, it is safe to say, “eat chocolate in moderation”. After all, too much of everything is bad.