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Food of the gods

Food of the gods

Chocolate – the ultimate comfort food, a guilty pleasure… and the good news is that the right kind can actually be good for you!

History of Chocolate

It comes from the cocoa bean, which literally means ‘food of the gods’. And, historically, it was so prized, cacao seeds were used as a form of currency (and, of course, some enterprising sorts even found a way to make counterfeit cocoa). It turns out those Mayans and Aztecs knew a thing or two because modern scientific research is finding new ways in which chocolate – good quality chocolate, at least – can be worth its weight in gold when it comes to your health.

Health Benefits

The healthiest forms are dark chocolate (70% cocoa content or higher) and cacao nibs, the original, natural form. (Just in case you are wondering, the health benefits of milk or white chocolate, and any of the processed sweetened stuff are slim to none!)
Here’s what it can do for your health:

Fights Against Disease

Dark chocolate and cacao nibs are high in antioxidants, which help fight free radicals that can damage the cells in your body. Two groups of these antioxidants are flavonoids and polyphenols.  Chocolate contains greater amounts of these than either tea or red wine. The higher the percentage of cocoa in your chocolate bar, the greater the number of antioxidants.

Good For Heart Health

Research also shows the flavonols in dark chocolate have a positive effect on heart health by lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the heart and making blood less sticky and able to clot.

May Help Lower Cholesterol

The polyphenols in chocolate are thought to be involved in cholesterol control. In one scientific study, researchers found a decrease in both total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol of 6.5% and 7.5%, respectively.

Better Brain Function

Eating chocolate also increases the flow of blood to the grey matter in the brain. Cocoa flavonols may benefit conditions associated with reduced blood flow to the brain. These conditions include dementia and stroke. A study of the elderly that looked at consumption of flavonols (in dark chocolate, tea and red wine) lead to better cognitive function.

Makes You Happy

The essential amino acids in dark chocolate help increase the production of the happy hormone serotonin.  This  can help alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression. It also contains the chemical phenylethylamine, which occurs naturally in your body and gives you the same boost you feel when you fall in love!

 

Free eBook

If you’d love 10 yummy recipes, then please click here: http://bit.ly/tnt-10choctreat
In this guide, I share with you some of my favourite healthy recipes, so you can get your chocolate hit without a side order of guilt.
10 yummy guilt-free chocolate recipes free ebook
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