Chocolate… mmm, yum! What is it exactly that makes chocolate so tasty, unique, irresistible and deliciously addictive? The good sweet news is that it contains a host of healthy ingredients, which have incredibly positive effects on our body, mind and spirit. Read below to find out why chocolate is good for your health and why it sometimes produces feelings of such intense pleasure and happiness.
Each bite of chocolate has a complex chemical structure that contains an incredible amount of constituents with many health and pleasure inducing properties.
Chocolate’s basic ingredients include cocoa beans, which give chocolate its distinctive and delicious flavor.
However, its most important chemical compounds are known as flavonols, a type of flavonoids found only in the seeds of cacao plants. Flavonols are potent antioxidants that protect cells against damage caused by free radicals. These antioxidants are one of the main reasons why chocolate is good for your health
Owing to its high content of flavonoids, only two tablespoons of natural cocoa have more antioxidant capacity than 3 ½ cups of green tea, ¾ a cup of blueberries and 1 1/3 glasses of red wine!
As far as fats are concerned, chocolate contains oleic, stearic and palmitic acid. Oleic acid is a healthy monounsaturated fat found also in olive oil, while steraic acid is a saturated fat that does not affect cholesterol levels at all.
Being a plant-based food, chocolate is also rich in minerals, such as copper, magnesium, potassium and iron, which are of essential importance for our health.
Dietary cautions and tips:
A small bar of chocolate a day may help protect your cardiovascular system and keep your heart healthy. The reason for this lies in its high amount of flavonoids, which defend our body against free radicals that lead to heart diseases.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of dark chocolate for heart health:
First of all, it tastes good. Secondly, it contains compounds that have stimulant, anti-depressant and pleasure inducing properties. Perhaps, this is one of the most pleasant reasons why chocolate is good for our health!
Now, let’s see what chocolate does to our mood:
Jessica is a translator who has lived for many years in Asia and South America. She now lives and works in Europe, while preparing her new journeys. She enjoys traveling, meeting new people, exploring different cultures and foods, and being in love.
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