Everything that’s good in life endangers our health or soul or makes us fat. – The time has come to rebuke this statement. A woman may resist even Brad Pitt, but chocolate during PMS, no way. Dark chocolate is rich in magnesium and tryptophan that stabilizes the nerve system and relieves stress and sense of anxiety by raising a serotonin level, the so-called hormone of happiness. The world would surely be colourless without this perfect treat, even considered as the ‘food of the gods’ by ancient Maya. They used fruits from the cocoa tree for making delicious beverage they called ‘cacao’. They introduced other with cocoa and this miraculous beverage through trade routes, so thanks to them, we have the most favourite antidepressant of any woman.
Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of the pieces. (Judith Viorst)
This surely is true, since the only problem with chocolate is that being so delicious, one can hardly know when to stop, but that is why you need to eat as darker chocolate as possible since high-quality dark chocolate contains more than 60% of cocoa parts. The more cocoa – the healthier chocolate is.
Chocolate’s basic ingredient is a cocoa bean – fruit of the cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao).
Cocoa tree is native to the deep tropical regions, and Europeans were firstly introduced to this plant by Christopher Columbus, but they found the cocoa’s taste too bitter so they add cinnamon, sugar, and honey.
Basic ingredients of all chocolates are cocoa butter, cocoa mass, vanilla aroma and emulsifier soy lecithin whose role is to connect all the ingredients of chocolate, rich in phosphor, magnesium, iron, potassium and zinc. Did you know that chocolate contains all the B-group vitamins, vitamin E, and beta-carotene?
What is (dark) chocolate good for?
Dark chocolate has proved to reduce blood pressure! Flavonoids in dark chocolate have beneficial effects on the function of blood vessels since they spread them enabling better blood circulation. Additionally, dark chocolate is good for reducing cholesterol, despite saturated fat it contains. This chocolate has a special type of saturated fat – stearic acid that acts differently than other saturated fats. It also has unsaturated fats like oleic acid that reduces LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
Beauty benefits of chocolate
Chocolate’s ingredients have a beneficial effect on our skin as well. Flavonoids, for instance, help with damage caused by ultraviolet radiation and improve blood circulation. Additionally, it is a common belief that chocolate causes acne. But, studies have shown there is no direct link between the two. Milk chocolate, on the other hand, is a different story, since it contains much more sugar and fat than dark chocolate. The research studies carried out in Germany have shown that women who consummate cacao beans have tighter skin more refreshing and younger appearance in general. Cocoa beans also contain natural antioxidants which protect our organism by removing free radicals from it.
Unfortunately, modern industry has replaced numerous positive aspects of chocolate with simple chemical compounds, so watch carefully what kind of chocolate you buy, bearing in mind that conventional ones don’t have the benefits of cocoa beans. The most healthy chocolates are those biologically cultivated with no white sugar, but as it goes for everything in life, the sacred rule is – temperance.
Translation: G. Dujmović