Chocolate is one of the most appreciated ingredients throughout the world. Chocolate was exploited centuries ago by Mesoamerican civilisations, from cocoa beans, and cultivated by pre-Columbian peoples such as the Mayans and Aztecs. They used it as an essential component with medicinal and energising properties.
Reasons to start eating and enjoying good quality Chocolate.
The bioactive components of dark Chocolate act as a protective factor against the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation; the sun is one of the main aspects of premature ageing. In this way, cocoa can be an excellent ally to improve the texture, density, thickness of the skin and prevent the early appearance of wrinkles.
It is important to note that most of these beneficial properties are primarily found in raw cocoa beans, rarely in commercial chocolate bars.
Chocolate is rich in polyphenols, flavonoids and catechins, antioxidant compounds that can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. Chocolate can also increase HDL (or good) cholesterol and lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol. It also acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory.
Chocolate offers potassium, magnesium, and calcium that contribute to correct cardiovascular health. Besides, it can promote the neuromuscular system’s function, so its intake can help athletes, especially to recover after physical efforts, such as has been shown in previous research.
Dark chocolate – with low levels of sugars – has components and active ingredients with antioxidant power. Some of them are polyphenols, flavonoids, and catechins. Various researches have revealed that they have more antioxidants than blueberries and açai.
Different studies published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology concluded that cocoa flavonoids are directly related to better cognitive performance. This is because they stimulate and promote changes in the brain’s areas related to learning and memory.
How to choose a good Chocolate?
- Always choose good quality chocolates.
- Mote than 70% cocoa is the healthiest Chocolates.
- Avoid Chocolates with a lot of added sugar.
- Avoid commercial chocolate bars as they barely contain any Chocolate.
- Unsweetened Cocoa powder is excellent for smoothies, desserts, and to have as a hot drink.