GOOD OR BAD?
Chocolate is one of those sweet treats most people love!
According to a study made by Hershey’s, chocolate is “loved” by every single person. How can this be? It is practically impossible to make such an affirmation. Well, this is the thing: They discover that even though some people say they do not like chocolate, they do not dislike either. Of course, we have to consider this study was made by Hershey’s.
Chocolate is also said to generate happy endorphins. Yes! The truth is that, since it contains caffeine and other stimulants, it also produces dopamine – which as the satisfaction hormone it is known – and some other neurotransmitters. That’s why it is also said to be an aphrodisiac!
The Harvard Health Publishing from Harvard Medical School provides some answers about chocolate and whether it is good or bad for our health.
The answer is Yes – and No.
Dr Eric Ding, a scientist in the Department of Nutrition of Harvard School of Public Health, stated:
Cocoa can be healthy, but the high-calorie chocolate bars that contain it aren’t necessarily good for you. Cocoa comes from roasted cacao seeds. It´s high in plant compounds called cocoa flavonoids, powerful antioxidants which have beneficial effects on:
|| Heart disease risks
|| Blood flow to the brain
Chocolate is the candy that’s made by adding sugar, milk, fat and other ingredients to cocoa powder. These ingredients counteract some of cocoa’s health benefits.
COCOA AND HEART HEALTH
The flavonoids in cocoa – specifically catechins, epicatechin, and procyanidins* – are thought to help the Cardiovascular System by:
|| Lowering cholesterol
|| Reducing inflammation
|| Preventing blood clots
|| Reduce blood pressure
|| Reduce unhealthy LDL cholesterol
|| Increase healthy HDL cholesterol
|| Improve blood flow
|| Lower insulin resistance, a condition in which the body doesn’t
use insulin effectively, which is associated with:
|| Type II Diabetes
|| Heart disease
So far, researchers have only confirmed cocoa’s short-term benefits on heart risk, but whether they actually prevent these conditions from happening isn’t yet known.
*Catechins are a result of caffeine decomposition and metabolization.
COCOA ON THE BRAIN
Scientists are also discovering that cocoa may be healthy for the brain. Cocoa improves blood flow to certain parts of the brain needed for memory and thinking.
Research published in the journal Hypertension in 2012 demonstrates that cocoa flavonoids help mental function and speaking ability. It doesn’t prove that cocoa can prevent dementia or other kinds of mental decline though. But it does appear to play some brain-protective role.
The average dose of flavonoids in the studies Dr Ding review was 400 mg a day. THAT’S THE EQUIVALENT OF 8 BARS OF DARK CHOCOLATE OR 30 BARS OF MILK CHOCOLATE!!! That amount of chocolate bars will definitely turn you into a ball!
WHAT TO DO?
To get the health advantages of cocoa flavonoids without the fat and calories:
1. Buy concentrated cocoa products. Very dark bitter chocolate.
2. Never buy milk chocolate. The darker the better.
3. Buy those chocolate bars that contain at least 70% cocoa.
4. There are some sugarless chocolate bars in the market.
5. Use natural cocoa powder. This one has neither added sugar nor fat., so you can eat all you want.
I am Love … I am Succes!
More information about brain health, neurotransmitters and Love in the book:
I am Love … I am Succes!