Chocolate over ages has always been labeled as an ‘unhealthy’ food item, but eaten in moderation can prove to easily fit into a healthy, balanced diet.
It has often been associated with obesity and acne. Many believe that chocolates can even trigger migraines. However, not ALL chocolates are the same. Thanks to chemicals found naturally in cocoa, certain chocolates are considered ‘healthy’. Of course it isn’t a guilt free pass to the candy store! Yet it is important to realize that with a higher concentration of cocoa there is a proportional increase in the health benefits of the treat. Chocolate not only improves mood and releases ‘feel good’ hormones – endorphins but also is known to reduce blood pressure, especially dark chocolate which has larger amount of calories but lesser sugar content than milk and white chocolate.
Despite people’s beliefs, chocolate actually contains surprisingly small amounts of caffeine, almost the same as a cup of decaf (decaffeinated coffee) would have. However it does contain Theobromine which is a much less powerful relative of caffeine.
Cocoa contains high levels of anti-oxidants called ‘flavanols’. The same anti-oxidant found in Green Tea and Red Wine. Anti-oxidants help rid the body of free radicals. Anti-oxidants attach to free radicals and carry them into the body through digestion and other means. Dark Chocolate has one of the highest concentrations of anti-oxidants as compared to Prunes, Blackberries, Blueberries, Raisins, Strawberries, Spinach even Broccoli (Source: Data from US Department of Agriculture and the Journal of the American Chemical Society). Chocolate also contains stearic acid which increases levels of HDL – the ‘good’ cholesterol.
Research is being conducted to show that flavanols, present in dark chocolate can help reduce the risk of auto immune diseases such as arthritis. Cocoa is being used for cancer research as well.
Much is being said about the adverse effects of chocolate, but as we see from above, it is in fact a not-so-guilty pleasure
Lotus chocolates provides for all your chocolate cravings, and after what we have learnt lately about chocolates, who can resist?
Log onto: http://www.lotuschocolate.com/ and indulge yourself.