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10 Quick Reasons You Gotta Love Chocolate

Christina Sarich
by
June 7th, 2013
Updated 05/07/2014 at 10:16 pm
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chocolate pieces 263x164 10 Quick Reasons You Gotta Love ChocolateMany people may not know it, but there are actually numerous health benefits of chocolate. The real, unadulterated form of chocolate, derived from the Theobroma cacao tree, is a heaven-sent super food that can keep us healthy even as we indulge in its delectable taste. Many overly processed chocolates are full of refined sugar and saturated fatty acids, but the real stuff is packed full of plant derived flavanols, full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory constituents and health-boosting ingredients that do all sorts of amazing things for our bodies and minds.

Take for example, the following 10 benefits to heart:

  • In a 9-year study conducted by the Swedes, it was found that people who consumed chocolate just 1 to 3 times per month had a 26% lower risk of developing heart failure. If you normally give your sweetheart chocolate, consider making it dark chocolate to provide an extra bit of love to the heart muscle.
  • meta-analysis published recently in Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that those who consume chocolate experience a reduction in blood pressure.
  • Chocolate increases communication between opiate receptors in the brain as well as supports the production of dopamine, two hormones that increase happiness and contribute to feelings of elation.
  • Real chocolate, or cocoa, is associated with decreased low-density lipoprotein levels and increased high-density lipoprotein levels. These are important for carrying cholesterol to the liver.
  • Raw cacao contains N-acylethanolamines that are believed to temporarily increase the levels of anandamide in the brain and enzyme inhibitors that slow its breakdown. This means we feel more relaxed when we eat chocolate.
  • Eating chocolate increases our endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers.
  • Raw cacao consumption can help with weight loss as it eradicates sweet cravings. The abundance of antioxidants can also help keep our metabolism running smoothly. An article in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry says you can enjoy cacao several times a week to boost weight loss.
  • Cacao can be enjoyed in raw form as a powder, as cacao nibs, or as a dark chocolate bar minus the refined sugar and unhealthy fats. You can mix a little cacao with honey and cinnamon over low heat on the stove for a delicious sweet treat, with the combined health benefits of all three foods for a vitamin-packed dessert.

From around the web:

  • Pascal

    My favorite dark naturaly sweet dark chocolate comes from Colombia §:')

  • Monty

    Ummmmm chocolate

  • johan

    If chocolate is such a good thing for human body, why is it very dangerous for our pets? does not make sense to me?

    • Pascal

      Excellent question §:-)
      1) Chocolate is cocoa that is transformed into a candy
      2) Gut flora….Hydrolic potencial …Body temperature are not the same in a dog It will make thier liver swell and bleed
      3) Melatonin disruption is due to the fact that most processed chocolates contain letchin of soja ..(a residue extracted from GM soy containing containing large concentrations of glycophosephates and neuro toxins ) used as an emulifier
      4) The use of the word "chocolate" is mis leading …
      ….

  • pete melov

    Unfortunately this doesnt mention the side effects of Cocoa, Melatonin disruption, children, breast feeding mothers, caffeine addiction, an isolated supplement not a food, in a couple of small areas of the world, now consumed world wide with other sweet stimulants..

    Thyeobromide, that kills animals when you give them this ''food'',

    Liver damage due to the Alkaloids, that need to be broken down, causing immune disfunction, as well as the ''highs'', that people get, including children, that cause adrenal stress, and continual non chewing, making it a very heavy burden on digestion..

    All in all totally unsuitable for people of a western diet, due to constant stimulation from other stimulants, and definatley totally innapropriate for nursing mothers and children..

    All in all, a poor researched, processed isolated snack, that was used by traditional cultures in a traditional way living a pollution free diet, with no Sugar and refined foods..completely different to the ''modern'' western ''diet''

    Pete Melov, BU Organics

    • Patrick Moore, N.D.

      Nice article. Chocolate, with at least a 70% cocoa content, without all of the added sugar, used in moderation, is a definite health food with multiple benefits. Sounds like Pete could use some to elevate his crabby mood.

      • anne

        I smell an anti alternative medicine, big pharma supporting sheeple in here. I am sensitive to caffeine and can consume a decent amount of 90% dark chocolate without feeling what I would feel from an ounce of regular coffee, so those caffeine warnings are overblown and unsubstantiated. Dark chocolate generally contains less sugar than Milk chocolate, which to me is not really chocolate, though I do occasionally like it in certain forms, and I am one to avoid consuming much sugar and refined carbohydrates in general. I'm much more concerned with people's livers being damaged by the medical industry and the use of tylenol, as well as other symptom treating poisons that give you 10 other problems to the one you took it for in the first place.

      • onegr8singer

        Boy-oh Boy are you Right!! Who on God's earth could post nasty about CHOCOLATE? Actually, it makes me laugh it's so rediculous! Probably his situation requires a bit more than Chocolate! but for you and me…Happy chocolate,honey!!"