Saturday, October 13, 2012

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Health benefits of dark chocolate

The ancient Mayans referred to chocolate as the food of the gods. To the Mayans, cocoa pods symbolized life and fertility. The Aztecs on the other hand, believed that wisdom and power came from eating chocolate. They also believed that it had nourishing, fortifying and even aphrodisiac qualities. Nowadays however, chocolate has been said to cause acne, make you fat or promote tooth decay.  This is not entirely true. Milk and white chocolate are “unhealthy” kinds of chocolate. They are generally loaded with sugar, contain milk with genetically engineered growth hormones, and also contain different artificial emulsifiers and flavours. Whereas dark chocolate (70%-90% cacao) is not only tasty, but great for your body. Below are some of the benefits that be derived from eating dark chocolate on a regular basis:

1.  Dark chocolate is good for your brain and     reduces stress
Dark chocolate contains several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on your mood and cognitive function. One of which is, phenylethylamine (PEA), the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release endorphins, therefore making you feel happier.

2.       Dark chocolate helps control blood sugar and satisfies cravings
The flavonoids in dark chocolate reduce insulin resistance by helping your cells to regain the ability to use insulin efficiently. Dark chocolate also has a low glycemic (GI) index, which means it will not cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels and gives you constant energy till your next meal. This may help facilitate weight loss as you will feel fuller for a longer period of time.

  3.       Dark chocolate increases libido

Dark chocolate increases the levels of dopamine and its bioflavonoids open up blood vessels to improve blood flow. According to the Journal of Sexual Medicine, people who consume at least one cube of dark chocolate daily experience greater desire and better overall sexual function than those who do not partake. The compound called phenylethylamine (PEA) releases the same endorphins triggered by sex and increases the feelings of attraction between two people.  Brain scans in a British study showed that eating chocolate causes a more intense and longer brain buzz than kissing does. So the old saying when on a date, bring a girl flowers or chocolate does have some meaning after all.

4.       Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants
Dark chocolate is filled with antioxidants. Eating antioxidant rich foods like dark chocolate can protect you from various types of cancer and slow the signs of aging.

5.       Dark chocolate is good for your heart
Studies have shown that eating a small amount of dark chocolate several times a week improves blood flow, lowers blood pressure, reduces risk of stroke and may also prevent arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

6.       Dark chocolate contains theobromine
Theobromine has diuretic, stimulant and relaxing effects. It can lower blood pressure and dilate blood vessels. Theobromine has also been shown to harden tooth enamel. That means that contrary to popular belief dark chocolate does not promote tooth decay.

7.       Dark chocolate is high in vitamins and minerals
Dark chocolate is filled with various vitamins and minerals. 3 of which are:
  • Potassium and copper which help prevent stroke and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Magnesium which helps prevents type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart diseases.
In conclusion, dark chocolate contains many health benefits and is great for you. However, any food consumed in excess would produce negative results. Therefore, consume dark chocolates in moderation.

This article was written by a good friend of mine, Ryan Fleury ,Managing Partner JF Self Defense 
For more info on Ryan,please visit 

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