Most often, people, without thinking about the benefits or harm brings chocolate, just gladly eat a piece of this delicacy for dessert or during an afternoon snack, and some like to eat chocolate candy for the night. Doctors rush to reassure: the benefits of chocolate (especially bitter) more than harm, and significantly, and given that it also improves your mood, just blasphemous to deprive yourself of this wonderful product.
What are the benefits of chocolate and cocoa
Let you have everything in chocolate! – say to the person they want to wish the very best. Why precisely in chocolate? Yes, because it has long become a symbol of luxury and well-being. The ideal product, which has healing properties when used inside and outside, is fragrant, tasty and affordable, does not leave indifferent children and old people, naughty ladies and courageous men …
Chocolate is a favorite delicacy of many people. True, there are those who are indifferent to him, and, as it turns out, nothing! After all, chocolate is not only a tasty product, but also a remedy. Is chocolate good and what exactly? Firstly, one should not deny the invigorating effect of chocolate, due to the presence of cocoa beans in it. What is useful chocolate is the fact that even a small piece helps with a sharp loss of strength, stimulates the brain. True, not for long, it is necessary to fix the effect afterwards with a full meal. Note that we are talking only about the real bitter chocolate, fake off! The use of dark chocolate has long been used in medicine. It reduces pain in the heart, improves liver function and digestion. In cosmetology, chocolate masks and wraps are popular. But the best, and most importantly – tastier, to be treated with chocolate from the inside! The benefits of chocolate for children, however, is not so high. In general, pediatricians are advised to acquaint babies with sweets as late as possible, starting somewhere from two to three years, then the kids will be more comfortable with sweet things.
The benefits of chocolate for the body is that the natural substances contained in cocoa beans help the body produce neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) – serotonin, tryptophan and dopamine, which affect the overall mood and energy. With a low level of production of these substances comes a depressive state, contributing to the emergence of various neuroses.
The following are the main points that emphasize the benefits of chocolate and cocoa for human health and appearance:
- Cocoa has a beneficial effect on human skin, being an excellent natural cosmetic.
- Cocoa has a beneficial effect on hair, supporting its growth and healthy state.
- Cocoa is actively involved in the regeneration of the skin and cures many skin diseases and burns.
- Cocoa is good for nutrition and has few restrictions for use.
- Cocoa is among the dietary products shown to be consumed with excess weight, as well as vegetarians.
- Cocoa is important for the nutrition of athletes and fitness.
- Cocoa is an effective tool for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Eating chocolate for five years (40 grams per day) improves heart function.
- Cocoa improves the condition of the blood vessels and prevents diseases such as varicose veins, atherosclerosis and stroke.
- Cocoa stabilizes blood cholesterol.
- Cocoa, acting on the vessels, improves the condition of the patient with diabetes. Natural cocoa components normalize metabolic processes associated with blood sugar levels.
- Cocoa is rich in active antioxidants and is a prophylactic against cancer.
- Cocoa is rich in magnesium, zinc, chromium, iodine and other minerals and allows you to compensate for their deficiency in the human body.
- Cocoa will help everyone who smokes or is in a hazardous environment or unfavorable environmental conditions.
- Cocoa treats stress.
- Cocoa fights depression.
- Cocoa improves thought processes, performance and overall well-being.
Bitter and dark chocolate is a healthy choice for diabetics.
Modern medical science comprehends the mechanisms of many ailments and is looking for optimal ways not only in the treatment of certain diseases, but also in their effective prevention. The same goes for our appearance. We want to stay young, but how to effectively preserve our appearance and make it more attractive is a difficult task. However, it turns out that next to us there is a wonderful fighter against diseases and the elixir of youth. Chocolate and cocoa are good tools for solving problems of this kind, although the methods of their use and their benefits are now only slightly revealed to us, who have long appreciated only the excellent taste qualities of their products.
What else is useful dark chocolate for beauty and health? In addition, this product is also an excellent prebiotic and, as a result, an important part of dietary products. What do we know about prebiotics? According to the standard, these are indigestible components of food that stimulate the growth and vital activity of colon microflora. Such ingredients include trisaccharides, polysaccharides, dietary fiber, antioxidants, microbial extracts and other prebiotics. Once in the intestine, prebiotics selectively stimulate the growth of microflora useful for humans, primarily lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. As for the benefits of chocolate for women and men, scientists from the Nestlé research center, with the participation of colleagues from German companies BASF and Metanomics, in 2010 concluded that with 40 grams of dark chocolate consumed daily, the metabolism of intestinal microflora changes. A similar study was later conducted by Mars and the University of Reading, and they were led by Dr. D. Spencer. A group of 21 people was selected for the study, some of whom used cocoa with a high content of flavonoids (494 mg), and some were content with a drink with a low content of beneficial substances (23 mg). The result showed a significant increase in the intestines of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in subjects who drank cocoa-flavored drink enriched with flavonoids. Dr. Spencer noted: “The increase in the growth of lacto- and bifidobacteria is the result of the body’s obtaining of cocoa flavonoids. It is important to note that these bacteria have a positive effect on the intestines, inhibit the growth of pathogenic organisms and are currently the most common prebiotics. Increased growth of beneficial bacteria affects positive processes in the colon. They inhibit the growth of pathogenic microflora, stimulate the synthesis of certain vitamins, for example B9, and reduce cholesterol levels. ”
Methylxanthines are of great importance in the fight against cardiovascular diseases, having a positive effect on the heart and circulatory system with theobromine and caffeine. As already noted, in the 19th century, the beneficial effects of theobromine in angina pectoris were observed. One hundred years ago, theobromine in the composition with sodium salicylate was used as a vasodilator. In the same years, questions were raised about the effect of theobromine on blood pressure. Recent studies have shown that theobromine and caffeine in natural doses, that is, in the composition of cocoa, do not affect the blood pressure of healthy and patients with hypertension of the first type. The same applies to cocoa drinks artificially enriched with theobromine. Along the way, researchers have found curious things. Cocoa, and in particular theobromine in it, significantly increased the “good” cholesterol, the very one that protects our vessels. At the same time, the level of “bad” cholesterol in the blood of the subjects was reduced!
Next, you will learn what kind of chocolate is useful and what its valuable qualities are.
The benefits of dark chocolate for men and women
It is proved that the use of dark chocolate for men is that it reduces the risk of heart attacks in the stronger sex by 17%. This conclusion was made by scientists after an experiment in which men ate 63 grams of chocolate a week for a dozen years.
The benefits of chocolate for the female body is not less noticeable. However, like other sweets, they should not be abused, otherwise the effect will be the opposite: hello, those extra pounds! To the advantage of dark chocolate for women is not overshadowed by overweight, delicacy should be eaten in small portions. For example, one fourth of a tile per day. This not only does not affect the figure, but also benefits. It is known that chocolate helps to get rid of sad mood or stress, that is, it reduces the production of the hormone cortisol. Natural bitter chocolate can help a woman get out of depression. Chocolate allows a woman to remain young and beautiful, because it consists of antioxidants that prevent the formation of wrinkles on the face.
The benefits of chocolate for men and women also lies in the fact that cocoa has a positive effect on sex life.
What chocolate is good for brain health
The brain is the most important organ of a person. It is responsible for the proper functioning of all organs and body systems. And in order for all the structures of the brain to work smoothly and without failures, you need a good nutrition that contains the necessary vitamins and trace elements. With a lot of mental stress, the brain simply requires glucose. In such a situation, you should not torture yourself, and dried fruits or some chocolate will help to satisfy your hunger for sweets. What chocolate is better for the brain and what exactly?
Bitter chocolate is an important brain stimulant. It activates brain cells, dilates blood vessels, is involved in supplying the brain with oxygen. Chocolate is useful for disorders of the brain caused by lack of sleep and overwork. It helps to recover faster with a stroke. In addition, it contains phosphorus, which feeds the brain, and magnesium, which is responsible for cellular balance.
Bitter cocoa without the presence of extraneous ingredients improves the blood circulation of the brain and increases the tone. It is incredibly useful, but not in the form of a chocolate beverage promoted by advertising, namely, real hot chocolate. It is believed that the ancient Aztecs loved to drink this drink in the morning. Knowing which chocolate is better for the brain, drink it with a small amount of water, milk and cinnamon to taste.
Surely, doubts about whether bitter chocolate is useful, you have already disappeared.
The benefits of dark chocolate for the body
Which chocolate is more useful – dark or milk? After bitter, the most useful chocolate is dark, and it has long been transformed from luxury into everyday necessity. Cocoa contains many substances that increase mood, such as magnesium, necessary for the production of serotonin in the body. Another element contained in cocoa is called andamin, it causes a feeling of euphoria. It affects the same parts of the brain as marijuana. In addition, your chocolate bar contains phenylethylamine – a substance similar to amphetamine, and theobromine, which invigorates no worse than caffeine.
The use of dark chocolate is that this product contains polyphenol – a very effective antioxidant from the group of flavonoids: It protects the cells of the body from free radicals. 40 g of dark chocolate contains as much polyphenols as there is in a glass of red wine. If you eat a little dark chocolate every day, you can normalize the pressure.
Dark chocolate contains a number of antioxidants, proanthocyanidins and polyphenols, with a cocoa content of 70% or more. There are more polyphenols in one chocolate slice than in a glass of red wine, and just as much as in a cup of green tea. The molecules of these substances slow down the growth of tumor cells and limit angiogenesis (the process of formation of new blood vessels in an organ or tissue). In cancer, this process is very intense.
In order for dark chocolate to benefit, not harm, use it in reasonable quantities.
The health benefits of dark chocolate
To find out which chocolate is good for your health, read the following information: Studies show that eating even a small amount of black chocolate two or three times a week can help lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate improves blood flow and can help prevent blood clots. Dark chocolate can also prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
Great use of black chocolate and for the brain. It increases blood flow to the brain as well as to the heart, so it can help improve cognitive function. Also helps reduce the risk of stroke. Dark chocolate contains several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on human mood and cognitive health. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a substance that produces the brain with a feeling of love. Therefore, the consumption of black chocolate helps to feel happy. Dark chocolate also contains a mild stimulant caffeine. However, dark chocolate contains significantly less caffeine than coffee. A small chocolate bar (50 gr.) Contains about 30 mg of caffeine, and a cup of coffee 250 ml – 200 mg.
Dark chocolate helps control blood sugar, helps keep blood vessels healthy and intact. He is able to protect against type 2 diabetes. Flavonoids in dark chocolate also help to reduce insulin resistance, helping cells to function normally and restore the ability to use the body’s insulin effectively. Dark chocolate also has a low glycemic index, meaning it will not cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels.
Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants. They help protect the body from free radicals that cause oxidative damage to cells. Free radicals accelerate the aging process and can cause cancer. Antioxidant-rich foods like black chocolate can protect against many types of cancer and slow down the signs of aging.
Dark chocolate contains theobromine, which, as has been proven, contributes to the strength of tooth enamel. This means that this chocolate, unlike most other sweets, reduces the risk of caries with proper oral hygiene. Theobromine is also a mild stimulant, although not as strong as caffeine. He can, however, help suppress a cough.
Dark chocolate contains a number of vitamins and minerals that can support health. In particularly high concentrations, it contains minerals such as potassium, copper, magnesium, and iron. Copper and potassium in dark chocolate help prevent stroke and cardiovascular diseases. Iron in chocolate protects against iron deficiency anemia, and magnesium helps prevent type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
And again, do not forget that in order for black chocolate to benefit, not harm, do not abuse this product.
The benefits and harms of milk chocolate for the body
Now it’s time to learn about the benefits and dangers of milk chocolate for the human body.
Milk chocolate has almost the same effect on the body as black. The principal difference lies in the composition: on the label of dairy tiles, in addition to information about 30-50% cocoa content, you will find mention of cocoa / vegetable oil, cocoa powder, dry or condensed milk (this can also be dry or low-fat cream), sugar. Milk chocolate is different from black primarily because it contains less cocoa products. The second main difference is the high fat content, which is achieved by adding dairy products. The benefits of milk chocolate are somewhat less than black ones. The content of nutrients and vitamins (catechin, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron), which cocoa beans are rich in, decreases with the percentage of cocoa.
If the use of milk chocolate lies primarily in the production of endorphins (joy hormones) and mood elevation, then it has significantly more harmful effects. All of them are associated with high-fat treats and a record sugar content. Hence, it is easy to predict the consequences: an increase in cholesterol levels, excess calories, caries, problems with blood vessels and other well-known “sweet” effects. True, some of them are often exaggerated.
The health benefits of white chocolate
And what is white chocolate good for and how is it harmful to health? In the ingredients of sweet present thickener-lecithin and vanilla, manufacturers add nuts, coconut, raisins and other components. High aromatic properties and low sugar content are undoubted benefits of white chocolate, besides it contains cocoa butter, rich in vitamin E. It helps women to bear fruit during pregnancy. The advantage of white chocolate is also in the fact that the presence of linolenic and arachnic fatty acids in this delicacy contributes to the prevention of diabetes.
The use of white chocolate is known for its tannin, it has anti-inflammatory properties, methylxanine, used in the treatment of bronchial asthma and lung diseases. The product contains anesthetic caffeine, which improves cerebral circulation. Due to caffeine, it has a stimulating effect on the body, and because of the content of tannin in it, the product heals abrasions and wounds on the skin. Masks are made from it that are used for dry or inflamed skin, they are treated for the effects of furunculosis and eliminate other skin defects.
Harm of white chocolate is observed due to the high content of milk fat in it, which is extremely high in calories. The product is not recommended for people suffering from obesity. Known to harm white chocolate from its ability to cause addiction. In addition, due to the high content of fats and carbohydrates, it can lead to weight gain if consumed in large quantities.
Harm of white chocolate for allergies is the content of cocoa butter in the product, which can cause severe irritation. It can also increase blood pressure or provoke arrhythmia.
White chocolate is good for young people. He successfully fights adolescent acne, protects delicate skin from weathering and even frostbite, and therefore gives us a good appearance.
The benefits of hot chocolate and how cocoa is useful for the female body
What is the use of hot chocolate for humans and especially for the female body? Modern biochemical studies show that cocoa beans contain more than 400 chemical compounds, of which phenylephylamine is the main one. It is this substance produced in the human body when he is in love. The advantage of hot chocolate is that it stimulates sexual appetite.
Hot chocolate or cocoa clears the mind, promotes digestion and mental activity, rejuvenates the body, and also works with female sex cells. The advantage of hot chocolate is that this drink helps in case of failures of the menstrual cycle, restores ovarian function after childbirth and gynecological operations. It is indispensable for violations of the thyroid gland.
By the way, contrary to popular belief, cocoa helps to lose those extra pounds. Anyone who watches his figure is useful to sit on a cocoa diet.
Well, “at the moment of life difficult” to raise the tone and improve mood, drink hot chocolate made from grated chocolate with cream and sugar. Offer the same drink to your loved one before intimacy – to rekindle desire, exactly as after – to recuperate and stimulate the work of the prostate gland.
The benefits of chocolate for children
Although the benefits of chocolate for children are quite high, doctors strongly recommend not giving it to babies up to 1.5 years. The reason lies in caffeine, theobromine and sugar. These substances excite the nervous system, which is not at all during infancy. The kid is just beginning to learn natural food, his teeth are being cut, therefore additional stimulation of the nervous system is completely superfluous.
Scientists have developed a new kind of chocolate with the addition of juice. The new technology will help to replace about 50% of fat in chocolate with juice, water with vitamin C or dietary cola.
Such chocolate is much more useful for children than usual, since 60 grams of ordinary dark chocolate contain 13 grams of fat (this is 20% of the daily requirement), most fats in chocolate are harmful saturated fats. New technology will reduce the amount of fat in the product.
Also, this technology allows to reduce the amount of sugar in chocolate, which is also good for the health of children. Today the technology works with dark, milk and white chocolate. Scientists have already managed to get chocolate with apple, orange and cranberry juice.
The benefits and harms of soy chocolate with lecithin
There is such a product as soy chocolate: does it bring benefit or harm? Those who are afraid of soy in panic should be warned: most varieties of chocolate contain soy lecithin E476, which belongs to the group of stabilizers. Lecithin for the food industry is obtained from many plants, such as sunflower, but soy is cheaper, therefore it is used more often. Speaking about the benefits and dangers of soy lecithin in chocolate, doctors reassure: in small quantities it is useful for the body, primarily for the nervous system.
The use of lecithin in chocolate is also in the fact that it has a positive effect on the work of the liver, brain, slows down the oxidative processes in the body. But soy lecithin in unlimited quantities is harmful: it contains phytoestrogens that have a negative effect on human hormones. Soy lecithin is part of almost any chocolate.
In a number of countries, the use of soy lecithin is prohibited, but in Russia, Ukraine and most European countries, E476 is freely used in the food industry.
What is the most useful chocolate: bitter, dark, white or milk?
In order to figure out which chocolate is the most useful, you should know what it is. Bitter, dark, white, milky – all these varieties, despite the common name “chocolate”, have completely different properties. What kind of chocolate is healthier: dark or bitter, white or milky? The use of milk and white chocolate due to the high content of sugar and other additives is doubtful, but bitter or dark chocolate in reasonable quantities is undoubtedly useful. The composition of this dark chocolate should include only three ingredients: grated cocoa, cocoa butter and sugar.
Cocoa, which means high-quality dark chocolate, is rich in flavonols, which prevent clogging of blood vessels, thereby reducing the risk of myocardial infarction and strokes. Due to the ability of flavonols to synthesize nitric oxide, which takes an active part in the blood circulation in the body, dark chocolate reduces blood pressure. In addition, cocoa contains magnesium, one of the most important minerals for heart health. Thus, with regular use of dark chocolate, at least twice a week, the risk of cardiovascular diseases is significantly reduced.
Which chocolate is the most useful for children and adults: the best brands
Well, now a little specifics: What brand of chocolate is more useful for children and adults? Natural chocolate without artificial additives is very difficult to find. Even manufacturers of expensive and exclusive brands of chocolate have difficulty finding quality raw materials. Small Swedish growers often use 64% chocolate from cocoa from a wild-growing cocoa tree from the jungle of Bolivia. The Swiss chocolate maker Felllin (Felchlin) has agreed with the Indians of the Amazon that will harvest the wild-growing cocoa tree at a certain time on their terms. True gourmets, in addition to the “Felllin” brand, choose “Valron” (Valhrona), “Callebaut” (Callebaut), “Chokovik” (Chocovic), “Belkolad” (Belcolade) – the brand of chocolate, which manufacturers follow fair trade rules. Finding it is quite difficult.
Spain’s oldest gastronomic chocolate brand, Valor, is produced in Villajoyosa, which is often called the “chocolate city”. The city has a lot of entertainment related to chocolate, for example, a museum where you can get acquainted with the production technology of this delicacy. Glory came to the city in the 18th century when cocoa beans from Ecuador and Venezuela were brought here. The most useful chocolate brand “Valor” is widely known throughout Europe. In the leading boutique of the company and in various cafes of Alicante you can try delicious chocolate mousses, cold chocolate drinks with ice cream, as well as a local delicacy, hot chocolate with donuts.
Which bitter chocolate is the most useful: the best brands
No one has any doubt what kind of bitter chocolate is the most wholesome and tasty – of course, Belgian! According to the old production standards, Belgian chocolate does not contain artificial flavors, preservatives and additives. It contains only natural cocoa butter and ground cocoa, of the highest quality. Chocolate is considered bitter in Belgium and contains at least 72% cocoa liquor. In almost every Belgian city there is a small chocolate factory, as well as small boutique shops where you can buy delicious handmade chocolate. What kind of bitter chocolate is good and famous all over the world? The generally recognized world capital of chocolate is the Belgian city of Brugge. The most famous brands of Belgian chocolate are: Neuhaus, Leonidas, Godiva, Gilian, Pierre Marcolini, Vittamer.
French producers of high-quality chocolate have recently begun to shift the Belgian and Swiss chocolatiers from the top lines of the ranking of the best chocolate.
The best bitter chocolate produced in France is amazing not only by the refinement of taste and courage in the selection of ingredients. A box of chocolates from Richard’s factory, for example, is equipped with built-in sensors that monitor temperature and humidity. The best brands of French chocolate are represented by the brands: Richard, Madame Sevigne, Michel Richard, Michel Chatillon, Debauve & Gallais.
The best brands of bitter chocolate in Russia are produced in factories: “Loyalty to quality”, “Russian chocolate”, “Russia”, “Victory of taste”, “Odintsovo confectionery factory”, “Bogatyr”. The whole range of flavors of bitter chocolate is most fully represented, perhaps, in the products of the factory “Faithfulness to Quality”. Content of cocoa liquor in premium class chocolate bars: 65%, 75%, 85% and 99%. Inside one 100-gram package of chocolate “Assorted Bitter Chocolate Flavors” there are 20 square 5-gram tiles representing the entire range of flavors of dark chocolate produced by this factory. The flavor palette of bitter chocolate at the Odintsovo confectionery factory (which produces chocolate of the “A. Korkunov” brand) contains from 55 to 72% cocoa mass.
Also, the best Russian chocolate brands are produced in three factories of the United Confectioners holding: Babaevsky Concern, Rot Front, Red October. The bitter chocolate produced by the Babaevsky concern amazes with a variety of flavoring additives. It adds nuts (hazelnuts, almonds), vitamins, candied fruit pieces, sesame, ginger. Some varieties of chocolate are made using a sweetener (isomalt). Dark chocolate without additives contains 75 and 87% cocoa liquor. Factory Red October produces bitter chocolate brands “Glory” (porous and dessert) and “Bitter”, containing 80% grated cocoa. The Mouth Front factory, which is part of the same holding, produces 3 versions of Autumn Waltz brand dark chocolate, containing 56% grated cocoa: dark chocolate with an alcohol content; dark chocolate with orange pieces; bitter porous chocolate containing alcohol and orange pieces.
Buy good chocolate is not so easy as it seems. Truly delicious chocolate – handmade chocolate, a work of art that is difficult to pass. Today, the word “chocolate” is often called a tile made from a combination of cocoa proteins, fats, sugar and other ingredients.
Chocolate is usually made in small, simulated shapes of squares, animals, people or fantastic objects. Often they are produced for celebratory events, for example, in the form of rabbits and eggs for Easter, coins for Hanukka, Saints Nikolaev for Christmas, hearts for Valentine’s Day and Santa Clauses for the New Year.
Harm of chocolate for the body
And now a little bit of tar in a barrel of “chocolate honey.” Knowing what brand of chocolate is the most useful, we must not forget about the dangers of this product.
Chocolate – high-calorie product. One chocolate bar (100 g) contains more than 500 kcal, which is about 1/5 of the daily ration. Excessive use of this delicacy leads to the fact that fat starts to be deposited between the muscles, in the connective tissue and under the skin.
The composition of chocolate has a large amount of fat (up to 40 g per 100 g of chocolate), which adversely affects the cardiovascular system. This delicacy contains caffeine, which can provoke heartburn, gastrointestinal diseases, nausea and prostate enlargement in men. Even from one cup of chocolate, the pulse increases, blood pressure rises. People who survived a heart attack and stroke, it is better to abandon this product.
Not good at all, and harm to chocolate for health will be significant if you use cheap products from an unknown manufacturer. Small producers often replace expensive cocoa butter with palm and coconut oil. Such chocolate products will contain trans fats, which can provoke hormonal imbalances, excess weight, atherosclerosis, malignant tumors and other severe pathologies. Chocolate can increase the allergic reaction. Therefore, as soon as the first signs of any allergy appeared, the sweetness should be stopped for a week.
Before you make a purchase, we advise you to carefully read the inscriptions on the package. If “vegetable fat” is found among the ingredients, it means that cocoa has its natural fat removed – cocoa butter, for which the cosmetic industry is ready to pay any money. Most likely, cocoa butter is replaced with cheap vegetable oil or coconut fat.
In lumpy chocolate, palm oil is sometimes added which is very unhealthy. For example, the Egoncacao brand of cocoa, loved by Swedes since childhood, owes its taste and aroma to artificial additives and flavors. Therefore, think carefully before grabbing a chocolate bar from the shelf at the cash register and throwing it into the cart. Instead of eating bad chocolate, it is better to refuse it altogether.