Chocolates can lure anybody on earth, then one should grab for the ‘dark’ ones because it has immense benefits on the health of the heart. A dietician claims that it contains minerals like iron, copper, magnesium and manganese present in quantities to reduce the blood pressure. The various Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate cannot be ignored. For a 100 gms bar dark chocolate, experts say that it contains 70% cacao but cannot ignore the lower amounts of unhealthy ingredients like fat and sugar along with the burst of antioxidants which are preventive for the bad cholesterol to form plaques and blockages in the heart.
These dark chocolates have manifold effects, like it contains 2/3 of mono unsaturated fatty acids, an essential component of our body, the bromine present in it is helpful for hardening of tooth enamel, can increase the longevity of men for at least one year as Harvard Researchers studied on 8000 men for 65 years because of its presence of polyphenols, the preventive antioxidants. Also, a compound called epicatechin present in dark chocolate protects the nerve cells of the brain against stroke.
Muscular degeneration affecting the old mostly and a common cause of blindness, as well as dementia to the old generation, can be avoided with dark chocolate. The chemical present in cocoa beans helps to reduce the time taken for the blood clot. Munching dark chocolates releases a chemical named Phenylethylamine (PEA) which stimulates brain cells and releases endorphins which curbs depression and swing into the feel of happiness.
Most doctors confirm that chocolate being the most craved foods in the world has a history of its preparation of at least four thousand years. Mexico has the history of producing chocolate as early as 1900 B. C. when it was consumed as a bitter beverage and prepared with the fermented roasted cacao beans ground into a paste and mixed with water and spices like chili peppers, almonds and vanilla with honey. Throughout its history, chocolate remained as the food of Gods signifying a symbol of luxury, wealth, and power. But Aztecs and Mayans used cacao beans as currency in the 14th century. Again these Olmecs, Mayans and Aztecs used cacao for mood enhancing and its aphrodisiac properties typically reserved for the ruling class.
Historical documents reveal that in 17th-century cocoa and chocolate both were considered as potential medicine to treat angina and heart pain. Raw cacao tastes bitter for the presence of nearly four hundred polyphenols but the vast majority of chocolates available in the markets are in the form of candy containing healthy cacao with loads of sugar and milk which can ultimately interfere with the absorption of the beneficial antioxidants in the body.
To the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, a paper published on the specific benefits of cocoa polyphenols for the cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, metabolic disorders and cancer prevention where the author notes the 380 known chemicals out of which ten are psychoactive compounds with more phenolics and higher antioxidant capacity than green tea, black tea or red wine. The phenolics present in cocoa protect against diseases where oxidative stress implicates the causal or contributing the factor of cancer. These phenolics also have antiproliferative, antimutagenic and chemoprotective effects.
Dark Chocolates benefits Weight Loss
In the Journal of Medicine, a paper published from Netherlands also reviews the health benefits of cacao as it is considered as the ‘complete food’. Apart from the presence of healthy fats and antioxidants, there are nitrogenous compounds which include proteins, methylxanthines theobromine, and caffeine. Caffeine acts as the stimulants of central nervous system and as the relaxants of smooth muscle. It works for weight loss too. Theobromine causes heartburn in some individuals while inhibits a persistent cough with the reduction of the activity of vagus nerve. The presence of valeric acid is the stress reducer.
Various Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
There are immense positive health benefits of the cocoa bean. It is anti-inflammatory with seventeen percent less reduction in C-reactive protein. It is indispensable for its anti-carcinogenic and anti-thrombotic properties. This improves the endothelial functions. Epicatechin, present in the dark chocolate helps for the neuroprotective benefits and lowers the Alzheimer’s risk. It has anti-diabetic and anti-obese effects due to the polyphenols’ ability to suppress the synthesis of fatty acid and stimulate the expenditure of cell energy in mitochondria.
Dark Chocolates Health Benefits for Heart
Consuming dark chocolates will have immense benefits on cardio since it has the cardioprotective property which lowers the blood pressure, improves lipid profile and helps to prevent arterial fibrillation. It improves liver function especially those with cirrhosis. An immense effect is seen on skin condition and protection against the damage caused due to Ultra Violet Rays. It improves the gastrointestinal flora, protects vision by lowering the symptoms of glaucoma and diabetes-induced cataracts, reduces stress hormones, lowers the progression of periodontitis, improves the endurance of doing exercise and protects against preeclampsia in pregnant women.
A Recent Study on dark chocolate and heart health found eating the stuff in moderation can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, or the thickening and hardening of the arteries, by restoring arterial flexibility and preventing white blood cells from sticking to blood vessel walls.
The research study reveals that cacao is inedible due to its bitterness in taste. The manufacturers reduce the bitterness, due to polyphenol content through fermentation and these non-defatted beans contain just 5%. The fermentation process also reduces epicatechin and soluble polyphenol content by twenty percent whereas anthocyanidins removed altogether and procyanidins decreased as much as five hundred percent. As a result of the product to make it edible and sellable, the chocolate manufacturers decrease the polyphenol content and so the variable polyphenol ranges from 10 percent to 100 percent anywhere.
Based on such evidence, it clearly reveals that the minimally processed dark chocolate is the ‘superfood’ and a ‘health food’. To reap all the benefits of cacao, more than that of green tea or red wine, one needs to consume at least seventy percent cacao per day. It would be better if anyone opts for raw cacao nibs too.