Sunday, September 23, 2007


1. Chocolate is much more than a mood enhancer, energy booster or aphrodisiac. In fact, chocolate contains vitamins A, B1, C, D and E, as well as potassium, sodium, iron and fluorine.
2. Chocolate is a good source of copper and magnesium, which helps to regulate heartbeats and blood pressure.
3. Researchers have found that raw and / or minimally processed cocoa contains flavonoids similar to catechins found in green tea, which help prevent heart disease and possibly cancer, as well as boost the immune system.
4. Amazing as it sounds, chocolate can help decrease blood pressure. One study found that a substance in cocoa helps the body process nitric oxide (NO), a compound that maintains healthy blood flow and blood pressure. Another study showed that flavonols in cocoa prevent fat-like substances in the blood stream from oxidizing and also blood platelets from sticking together thereby avoiding the formation of clots.
5. Chocolate improves blood circulation and lowers death rate from heart disease.
6. The fat from cocoa butter comprises equal amounts of oleic acid (a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil), stearic and palmitic acids. Though saturated fats are linked to increases in LDL-cholesterol and risk for heart disease, research indicates that stearic acid appears to have a neutral effect on cholesterol, neither raising nor lowering LDL-cholesterol levels.
7. Chocolate provides magnesium, which helps increase pre-menstrual progesterone levels before periods, and improved your mood.
A Word Of CautionThough chocolate has a lot of health benefits, having a decadent piece of chocolate once in a while is not going to harm you. But don’t go rushing to stock up on all the chocolate products you can fit into your refrigerator! And while no one is going to claim chocolate is the ideal diet food, a dieter can add a small piece of chocolate to her diet food, a dieter can add a small piece of chocolate to her diet if she subtracts an equivalent amount of calories by cutting back on her foods.While moderate amounts of dark chocolate may have some heart benefits, many claims are unproven and much more research is needed before chocolate can take its place amount true healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, which also contain other vitamins, minerals, and fibre not found in chocolate. So don’t turn your back on traditionally healthy food. That said, occasionally replacing the regular sweet treat in your diet with the darkest chocolate you can find (look for a high cocoa content) is a great idea, so go for it!

sourced from cooking & more Jan-feb

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