Chocolate, the name itself is enough to melt us. Ever since I had my first taste of chocolate, I was hooked. There is nothing quite like the taste and texture of a good chocolate. Eat it in any form anyway, whatever you do, I can guarantee that it will leave you craving for more. Coming straight from a self-confessed chocoholic. The plant’s botanical name, Theobroma cacao, literally means “food of the Gods.” In our pursuit of all things Godly, let’s start with chocolate to find the ultimate connection.
Today chocolates of every taste and variety are readily available over the counter. Some 50% of women reportedly claim to prefer chocolate to sex… I believe it. More than 300 different constituent compounds in chocolate have been identified. This makes chocolate interesting and mystical. Chocolate clearly delivers far more than a brief sugar high, and is associated with health benefits too.
According to the Healthsource’s, the benefits are derived from flavonoids in dark chocolate. Flavonoids are a naturally occurring antioxidant that is also found in tea, red wine, some fruits and vegetables. The flavonoids in dark chocolate have been associated with a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. A recent study revealed that 6 grams of dark chocolate a day, about one square, lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 2 points each. Dark chocolate also may lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels by about 5 points. While not a huge effect, but at least something’s going in right direction.
Chocolate is made from plants, which means it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. These benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals; Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries). Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body and is good for your heart.
One particular well known major Chocolate manufacturing company [link below article] has spent years isolating flavonol and refining the Cocoa. They claim their Cocoa flavonol drink may increase blood flow to the brain, and suggest that long-term improvements in brain blood flow could have good impact on cognitive behavior, offering future potential for debilitating brain conditions including dementia and stroke. But remember that all these benefits come with a calorie cost, though not as calorie-laden as some candy bars, are not calorie-free. Without trimming calories somewhere else, or walking additional minutes each day, one could end up gaining few pounds over a year,
But if you like chocolates as I do and are ready to run few extra miles, then go for the divine functional foods, a delicious instance, something that tastes good and is healthy too. To gain the health benefits, there’s no need to eat a whole chocolate bar if you don’t like. Just one square a day, about 30 calories worth, will provide the health benefits. The darker the chocolate the more concentrated the cocoa, hence more benefits. Chocolate should contain at least 60% cocoa. Milk chocolate by comparison typically has 15 to 25% cocoa.
Chocolate word is synonymous with soothing. Works well for mind and body both. Hence now a day’s various Spa sanctuaries have chocolate as not just as a treat to eat, but a necessary ingredient for innovative spa treatment. An opportunity to let yourself be soothed and toned in total luxury is here … … Oh I am packing my bags!
A German confectioner claims to have come up with the first anti-ageing chocolates [link below article]. Made with dark chocolate, mango and Soya milk, the creators believe the chocolates not only make you happy, but keep you young. To cash on this latest research LYNX has launched a new chocolate fragrance deodorant for men and an aftershave lotion too, increasing the drool quotient of women. Yes it arouses a cocktail of psychochemical effect on us, so some side-effects along with health; I think it’s a deal. Indeed, perhaps the greatest joy of chocolate is that it is a guilty pleasure, and don’t we love the occasional forbidden chocolate indulgence? Keep it Plain, no caramel, no nuts all just add up the calories.
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