The powerful protective antioxidant of the heart
Who would say that chocolate, as well as tasty, is also good health and may even contribute to weight loss.
However, for this to happen the food needs to have at least 70% cocoa powder in its composition, ie be a bitter (black) chocolate. Among the positive aspects of bitter chocolate are the reduction of risks of cardiovascular disease and cancer. In addition, the food protects the brain and can contribute to the decrease of bad cholesterol and blood pressure.
Flavonoids, especially epicatechin, are the most important substances in bitter chocolate. They are present in the almond powder of cocoa and are a powerful antioxidant, that is, they fight against the free radicals present in the body.
These flavonoids will lower the risks of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and can lower bad cholesterol, LDL, and blood pressure. They also help decrease the chances of strokes, improve the skin and protect the brain.
This chocolate has caffeine which is a central nervous system stimulant, improving concentration and energy. It also has a thermogenic effect, contributing to weight loss.
The food also has good amounts of magnesium, important for the proper functioning of the nerves and muscles and that helps prevent stone formation in the kidneys and gallbladder. Iron is present in bitter chocolate and is important to prevent anemia. The food also has fibers, a substance that contributes to improve intestinal transit.
Chocolate Properties Black (bitter):
|Black Chocolate Nutrients (100 grams):|
|11 grams of fibers|
|67% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of iron|
|58% of magnesium DDR|
|89% copper DDR|
|98% of manganese DDR|
|Also contains lots of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium|
Improves metabolism helping to lose weight
This is one of the biggest benefits of bitter chocolate and also one of the most unknown. Increased metabolism. The consumption of bitter chocolate can increase the amount of calories that the body uses to perform its daily activities (ie, bitter chocolate burns fat).
Bitter chocolate contains monounsaturated fats that have the ability to stimulate the body to use more energy from fat stores. So if you maintain a balanced diet your body will be forced to mobilize the fat stores to be converted into fuel for the cells.
To get these benefits from bitter chocolate the researchers recommend the consumption of 2 to 3 squares (amount that should not exceed 30g per day) of bitter chocolate with 70% cocoa content.
When you feel hungry, eat only one square of bitter chocolate with at least 70% cocoa. It will create a stimulus in your brain to make you feel satisfied with what it provides, so it is a great option for those who want to lose weight.
Increases sense of well-being
Bitter chocolate can alter the mechanism of brain functioning by stimulating the release of some neurotransmitters (substances that transmit signals between nerve cells, or neurons). Serotonin, endorphin, anandamide and theobromine are some of these substances that act directly on the feeling of well-being, reducing stress and leading to the feeling of well-being and euphoria.
A healthy central nervous system (SNS) stimulant causes a vasodilator diuretic action that tones the heart. It also has two xanthines, caffeine and teoxantine, SNS stimulants. These xanthines contain about 40 to 60% of lipids, called cocoa butter. But being a very complete food, it also contains flavonoids, minerals and some vitamins. It is thus a very complete and powerful food in the fight against anxiety, bulimia, obesity, headache, insomnia and tachycardia.
Protects the body - Antioxidant effect
Bitter chocolate has the ability to fight free radicals. This food has a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. When there is oxidation, we produce free radicals.
Bitter chocolate is high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are the compounds used to neutralize free radicals and protect the body from its damage.
Prevents Cancer - Combats Bowel Diseases
Bitter chocolate has a good amount of flavonoids that are powerful antioxidants. Cancer is related to DNA oxidation, excessive oxidation increases the risk of disease. As flavonoids act to prevent some of this oxidation, they end up avoiding the risk of cancer.
Protects the heart
By contributing to lowering LDL and increasing good cholesterol (HDL) and lowering blood pressure, protection against arterial obstruction and heart attack is another benefit of bitter chocolate. According to a survey conducted in Sweden, consumption of bitter chocolate twice a week resulted in a lower chance of 66% death from cardiac complications. The same study also revealed that consuming a small portion of bitter chocolate once a week can reduce the chances of death from cardiac complications by as much as 50%.
How to consume bitter chocolate:
Bitter chocolate can be consumed pure, but it is also interesting to prepare it with fruits, especially the red and purple ones. This because they have strong antioxidant action and together with chocolate, can help to potentiate the benefits of candy.
Avoid consuming bitter chocolate with milk or other sources of calcium, as the oxalate present in cocoa inhibits the absorption of calcium.
Cocoa, the fruit of which chocolate is made, originates in the tropical regions of South and Central America.
To make the chocolate is removed from the almond that is inside the cocoa. It is rich in flavonoids, iron, zinc, among other nutrients. After some procedures, a fat is extracted from that almond, the cocoa butter, and the rest of it is ground. Formerly, it was enough to take this powder and mix it with flavorings to make a drink, but the result was very bitter.
Then the sugar was added in the recipe, at the time this sweetener was still not refined and the cocoa butter, which is rich in polyunsaturated fats, was then removed and then collected in the preparation. Thus, the first chocolate was composed basically of cocoa almond powder, cocoa butter and sugar.
This first combination, despite the sugar, contains many good points. This is because cocoa powder is rich in epicatechin, a type of flavonoid with a strong antioxidant action, and also rely on chromium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and caffeine. In addition, cocoa butter has good fats, the polyunsaturated ones, which have a protective effect on the body.
Unfortunately, over time, many chocolate manufacturers have begun replacing high-priced cocoa butter with hydrogenated fats, added more sugar, added milk and reduced cocoa powder from the recipe. So the food was losing its healthy aspects.
Currently there are several types of chocolate, some that still retain the characteristics of the original production and others that have had the modified recipe and therefore no longer provide benefits.
Know each type of chocolate:
Bitter chocolate: It has at least 70% of cocoa powder in its composition. This food has no milk, and has less sugar and fats. When consumed in moderate amounts, up to 30 grams per day, it can provide several health benefits.
Semisweet chocolate: It has at least 40% of cocoa powder in its composition. It has less milk and sugar. The amounts of cocoa powder are not yet sufficient to provide considerable health benefits.
Milk chocolate: It has at least 25% of cocoa powder in its composition, it also has milk, which causes the food to have cholesterol and saturated fat. In addition, candy is high in sugar and may have hydrogenated fats.
White chocolate: It has no cocoa powder in its composition. It is made with cocoa butter and sugar and unfortunately in many cases also carries good amounts of hydrogenated fats.