Bitter chocolate, the benefits and harms of which are the subject of lively discussions, is still the choice of many lovers of this delicacy. Before we try to find out why dark chocolate is useful or, on the contrary, harmful, first it is worth understanding what exactly this product is. Many people think that dark and bitter chocolate are the same thing. However, this opinion is erroneous.
Firstly, dark chocolate is any confection that has a high-quality roasted cocoa beans content of at least 55%. If this figure is less, then this is a completely different type of product. Any bar with a cocoa content above the 55% threshold is considered the bitter and highest quality chocolate. Another factor that directly affects the quality of dark chocolate is the absence of various additional ingredients such as nuts, raisins, dried fruits, toppings or flavors. Literally all the beneficial properties of dark chocolate are determined by its natural composition and high quality.
First of all, perhaps, the decisive role is played by the high quality of this product, since there are certain state standards that regulate the quality of this type of confectionery. According to this standard, dyes and preservatives, as well as various flavoring additives, cannot be used in the technological process of chocolate production. Literally, this means that the manufacturer has the right to write "dark chocolate" on the packaging only if the above quality standards are met.
Thus, we can safely say that the benefit of dark chocolate lies in the fact that increased requirements for its quality exclude the use of various additives, dyes and other dubious ingredients. Scientists claim that the most healthy is chocolate with a cocoa content of about 76%. It is in such chocolate, experts say, that all the properties of this product that are most useful for the human body are concentrated.
Before we figure out exactly what beneficial properties chocolate with a large proportion of cocoa has and which one is healthier: bitter or milk. Here it is worth noting one remarkable fact. Bitter chocolate with a high cocoa content in the middle of the last century was included in the mandatory diet of the American soldier. This means that throughout the entire period of service, the American soldier received a small amount of this product daily. The diet of the American soldier is thought out to the smallest detail, and they receive only high-quality food that is good for health, without any harmful additives and dyes. This is one of the arguments in favor of dark chocolate, but there are other reasons why this type of confection is considered beneficial to health.
In the course of a number of clinical studies, scientists have discovered the following beneficial properties of dark chocolate:
1. It is a proven fact that dark chocolate prevents and slows down the physiological aging process of brain cells. It is for this reason that this dessert is useful at any age. Thanks to the unique antioxidants contained in cocoa beans, brain cells not only age more slowly, but also remain active much longer and retain their functions such as memory, attention, concentration and intelligence. However, you should not abuse chocolate and it makes sense to consult with your family doctor about when and how much treats you can eat every day, as there may be some contraindications.
2. Dark chocolate also affects the cognitive function of the brain, that is, the ability to perceive information, analyze it and draw certain conclusions. Cocoa contains flavonoids, which are responsible for the activity of enzymes and, accordingly, accelerate reactions and mental activity. For this reason, chocolate is recommended to be "taken" before exams for schoolchildren and students of higher / secondary educational institutions, as well as people who are engaged in hard physical labor and suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome.
3. This delicacy has a positive effect on the work of the cardiovascular system, prevents the formation of blood clots, improves blood circulation and stabilizes the level of blood pressure. It is a proven fact that the risk of developing heart attacks or strokes among those who like to treat themselves to chocolate are much less than those who prefer other gastronomic delights.
4. Chocolate lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood, and therefore its use is recommended for patients in whom this indicator has managed to acquire alarming proportions.
5. It has been proven by research by scientists that cocoa beans prevent cell mutations and, as a result, prevent the development of cancer.
6. Natural chocolate with a high cocoa content is one of the best natural antidepressants. These properties of the dessert are due to the fact that when chocolate is consumed, endorphins are produced - hormones of joy that always accompany falling in love and other positive emotional states. After using this type of delicacy, mood improves significantly, efficiency increases, depressive states go away, etc.
Here are just some of the main reasons why dark chocolate is useful, and why it makes sense to use it in some cases, even as a medicine.
- It’s Thanksgiving morning, and while you’ve probably got your mashed potatoes and stuffing all planned out, you shouldn’t overlook one of the most underrated Thanksgiving side dishes: green bean casserole. It’s crunchy, it’s creamy, and with so many green beans, you can even trick yourself into thinking it’s good for you.