“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Charles M. Schulz. Chocolates have been deemed to be one of the most popular foods globally. While some blame chocolates alongside with other sweet treats for obesity and diabetes. The next time you eat a piece of chocolate, you may not have to feel overly guilty about it. Despite its bad reputation, there numerous health benefits associated with this delicious treat. In addition, when taken in moderation, chocolates can be sexy. In fact, chocolate’s reputation as an aphrodisiac is deeply embedded in the history of Western Civilization. The Mayans used to pay cacao beans for their early version of beerhouses. Similarly, the great Aztec ruler Montezuma, tap into chocolate’s benefits when it comes to strength and vitality. He was reported to have consumed as much as fifty cups before heading off to his harem or to wars. The Spanish Conquistadors also introduced chocolate as strength stimulant in doing certain tasks during the Rococo times.
In today’s contemporary period, various researchers have found out that chocolate also deserve to be a wonder food in health and wellness. Canadian scientists carried out a comprehensive study involving 44,489 individuals and found that people eating chocolate were 22 percent less likely to suffer a stroke than those who did not. Furthermore, in an article published in the Journal of Heart Health in 2015, findings suggested that 100 grams of chocolate daily may be associated to a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. Based on observational evidence through various scientific researches, levels of chocolate consumption may be linked with a substantial reduction in the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.
Amazingly, the cocoa extract called lavado could prevent damage to nerve pathways in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. This is supported by scientists from the Harvard Medical School. Their findings suggest that drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day could help keep the brain sharp and reduce memory decline in the elderly. You may opt to start now by buying trail mixes that are made with the best organic ingredients.
Over the recent years, other health benefits were discovered. Expectant mothers who eat 30 grams of chocolate during the pregnancy period may benefit fetal development, as concluded by the study presented at the 2016 Pregnancy Meeting for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in Atlanta. For athletes, chocolate can boost performance according to the Too sporty to indulge in chocolate? Think again, says research published in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, dark chocolate can improve performance in fitness training.
In addition, Michael Liebowitz of the New York State Psychiatric Institute proved that the phenylethylamine (PEA) that chocolate contains releases dopamine and is substantial to well-being. Adam Drewnowski from the University of Michigan likewise stated that eating chocolates produce natural opiates in the brain, which provides another comprehensive explanation for the chocolates’ feel-good reputation. Chocolates also contain flavonoids, antioxidants also found in green tea and red wine. But, dark chocolates contain more potent antioxidants compared to those two.
Today, the recent discoveries of cocoa’s health benefits do have positive effects in hampering of aging and oxidative stress. Cocoa is also instrumental in blood pressure regulation and atherosclerosis. The higher the cocoa content, the more health benefits there are. Orthodoxly, the less sugar content of the chocolate, the better it is for overall health.