Chocolate is one of the most loved foods in the world. This sweet and delicious treat has been around for centuries. It was first prepared by the Mayans and Aztecs who used cocoa beans. In Europe, chocolate was first introduced in the 16th century when Spanish explorers brought it back from Central America.
It has been associated with various health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, lowering blood pressure, improving brain function, and boosting mood. But what makes chocolate so beneficial? The answer lies in the cocoa bean itself.
Cocoa beans are made up of several different compounds that have been shown to have health benefits. These include polyphenols (antioxidants), flavanols (antioxidants), theobromine (a stimulant), anandamide (a feel-good neurotransmitter), PEA (another feel-good neurotransmitter), and serotonin.
How is chocolate prepared?
Chocolate is a food that has many benefits and is loved by many people. It’s important to know how chocolate is made from cocoa beans because it will help you understand the different tastes and qualities of chocolate.
The cocoa beans that are used to make chocolate are actually seeds from a fruit called Theobroma Cacao. These seeds are roasted and then ground up to produce cocoa powder or cocoa butter which is mixed with milk or water to create chocolate milk and other types of chocolate like white chocolate or dark chocolate which have different levels of cacao content.
What are the Top 5 Health Benefits of Eating Chocolate?
Chocolate is a delicious, sweet treat that can make anyone happy. Here are some amazing benefits of eating chocolate:
1. Reduces stress and anxiety
Chocolate is a popular stress reliever. It’s also a mood-booster and it has many health benefits. The key ingredient in chocolate that helps reduce anxiety and stress levels is anandamide, a neurotransmitter in the brain that acts as a natural mood-booster.
The benefits of chocolate in anxiety and stress are not just limited to the feeling of pleasure and comfort that it provides. There is scientific evidence that points to the fact that chocolate can help reduce anxiety and stress levels.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) found out that eating a bar of dark chocolate can help reduce the level of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress. Cortisol levels were reduced by 10% after 2 hours from when participants ate a bar of dark chocolate.
2. Improves cognitive function
Chocolate has been proven to improve cognitive function. This is because it contains the following:
- Phenylethylamine (PEA) which has been shown to improve mental clarity, mood, and even memory.
- Caffeine which improves alertness and focus.
- Theobromine which improves mood and reduces stress.
- Tryptophan which is a precursor of serotonin that regulates sleep cycles and moods.
- Magnesium which improves cognitive function and reduces anxiety.
Flavanols are the natural antioxidants found in cocoa and dark chocolate that help to keep your brain healthy. They are also responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties of chocolate. This is why it is important to consume high quality dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids, as well as a moderate amount of it, instead of eating too much white chocolate or other sugary treats.
3. Promotes healthy heart function
Chocolate has been found to be beneficial in promoting healthy heart function.
In recent studies, it has been found that dark chocolate is more beneficial than milk chocolate in promoting healthy heart function. Dark chocolate contains higher levels of cocoa, which is rich in flavonoids, and these flavonoids have been shown to be beneficial for the heart.
It helps to reduce inflammation in the body and improve blood flow by dilating blood vessels. Theobromine, another compound found in cocoa, has been shown to have a positive effect on heart rate and blood pressure, as well as lowering cholesterol levels.
4. Helps with weight management
It is not a secret that chocolate is a sweet treat that most people enjoy. But did you know that it can also help you lose weight?
The following list includes some of the best benefits of chocolate in weight loss:
- Chocolate makes us feel full and satisfied, which helps us eat less
- Chocolate decreases cravings by increasing serotonin levels in our brain
- Chocolate can make your metabolism work better by providing more energy.
And the best part is that there are so many different types of chocolate to choose from!
5. To fight Aging and Wrinkles
We have known for a long time that dark chocolate is good for our health. But now, new studies show that it can also reduce wrinkles and fight aging.
Scientists have found out that cocoa beans contain a natural antioxidant called polyphenol. This antioxidant helps to protect skin cells from the harmful effects of UV rays, which cause wrinkles and age spots. It also helps to increase serotonin levels which can improve mood and sleep quality.
In conclusion, chocolate is a great way to indulge in something sweet without feeling guilty about it.
Chocolate is a popular and widely loved food. From the classic chocolate bar, to hot cocoa, to chocolate cake, there are so many ways to enjoy this yummy dessert. So, the next time you are craving chocolate; don’t forget to grab a bar of chocolate.
Hi, I’m Rana and I blog at ranasrecipe.com. Connecting with people and cooking are my true passions. Nothing makes me happier than being around a table full of people you love enjoying a delicious meal! With my blog, I found my true calling in creating wonderful recipes so that everyone can enjoy cooking as much as I do! Don’t forget to follow me on my social channels- instagram and pinterest.