Dark Chocolate Health Benefits

Nutrition benefits

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Dark Chocolate

Studies have shown that health benefits of dark chocolate include lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Eating a small bar of dark chocolate every day can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running healthy. Healthy blood flow and blood pressure are vital in the body’s ability to function properly. People who like chocolate certainly like to hear about these health benefits.

The health benefits have to do with the higher percent of cocoa in dark chocolate that helps the body process nitric acid which is essential to these core bodily functions.  Healthy dark chocolate, which has not been heat processed or alkalinized has a high percentage of epicatechins (a type of flavanoid).

Dark Chocolate and Flavonoids

Dark chocolate  has more flavonoids per gram than any other food tested so far, including green tea, red wine, and blueberries.

Flavonoids purportedly inhibit cancers, guard blood vessels, promote cardiac health, and counteract mild hypertension (high blood pressure). Flavonoid elements in chocolate raise nitric oxide processing in the body. Flavonoids are also found in tea, red wine, coffee, and some fruits and vegetables.

Flavonoids help relax the blood vessels which may help to reduce blood pressure and promote cardiovascular health. They may also make the LDL, or bad cholesterol, less dangerous. Flavonoids also hamper platelet accumulation and improve blood-vessel flexibility, helping to inhibit hardening of the arteries.

 

Bliss and Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

The neurotransmitter, Anandamide, is found in significant quantities in cocoa. Anandamide is released when we are feeling good and it occurs naturally in the brain. Because anandamide is produced naturally by the body, the effects are extreme and relatively short-lived.

One other of the health benefits is bliss.  Some drugs can synthesize neurotransmitters like anandamide. Anandamide is called the bliss molecule and Dark Chocolate simply makes the body feel good.

Perhaps this has something to do with the serotonin and dopamine released into our brains when we eat it. Chocalate has many psychoactive chemicals: sugar, caffeine, anandamide, tryptophan, and theobromine.

Theobromine is found naturally in cocoa and acts as an anti-depressant, but has been known to be toxic to animals. Theobromine, the alkaloid in cocoa and chocolate is said to elevate mood. It also acts as a stimulant for human beings.

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Dark Chocolate During Pregancy

One thing about dark chocolate pregnant women like to hear is about the new research that found that chocolate eating during pregnancy does increase cord serum concentration of theobromine (the primary methylxanthine alkaloid in chocolate), which can reduce the occurrence of preclampsia. Chocolate and cocoa, due to their alkaloids, which act as slow poisons to the body, are harmful to the liver and stomach. They are mere excitants and supply no nutritive needs of the body. The benefits of dark chocolate cannot be denied!

 

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