Some of us may have the thought that it's not even chocolate at all because it's bitter and that our taste buds are missing some sugar. Some of us scoff and scowl at the mere mention of Dark Chocolate. To those who have followed the deception of milk chocolate, only to view their ever expanding hips and thighs. I say HA ! First things first, dark chocolate is the world champion title holder of antioxidants. Antioxidants aid in exiting the free radicals, unpleasant unhappy little molecules that causes aging and disease. The main types of free radicals are called super oxide, hydroxyl, singlet oxygen, peroxyl, and hydrogen peroxide molecules. The body likes all of its molecules/atoms to have even numbers of electrons. When the oxygen mixes with the molecule it gains an extra electron, making it an unstable free radical with an uneven number of electrons. Now you have to remember that environmental factors like smoking, radiation, pollution, hypertension, a high-fat diet, and elevated blood sugars can also oxide the body'scells to form free radicals.
Dark chocolate is made without or with a very small quantity of milk solids. However, this less percentage of milk solids gives a bitter taste to the chocolate also giving it a chalky and dry texture.
A range of dark chocolates are available out there in the market from which you can choose according to your taste:
|SWEET DARK CHOCOLATE||35%-45%|
SEMI SWEET CHOCOLATE(For cookies, brownies, cakes, etc.)
BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE(intense chocolate taste)
(used only for baking purpose)
According to a recent survey every fourth person in U.S. is
affected by depression. So, lots of research was done to find out the relation between dark chocolate and depression. The cocoa of dark chocolate helps in releasing serotonin and also relaxes the cardiovascular blood vessels. The cold processed cocoa has natural dopamine that is linked with the enhancement of mental acuity, which elevates your mood. When you feel tired and low, that causes the release of free radicals. The antioxidant present in the dark chocolate, i.e. the flavonoids go to work. The MAO inhibitor chemical present in cocoa helps in fighting depression. Serotonin acts as a natural anti-depressant. The serotonin and dopamine chemicals help in lowering the risk of depression and increases mental functions. Eating dark chocolate also triggers endorphins, which are body’s own opiates. An increased endorphin level result in less pain sensitivity, and gives us a feeling of contentment and also elevates mood. Stay with me now, dark chocolate is also rich in Vitamin B and vitamin B provides support to your brain to function properly. You also get an improved and better state of mind with the magnesium and iron properties of your dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate helps to maintain a youthful and healthy skin. This antioxidant powerhouse promotes healthy cellular tissue throughout the body. For thousands of years cocoa has been known for its medicinal properties because of the high amount of the antioxidant present in it. They are acknowledged as the best source of antioxidants as per 100g. The cocoa butter which is extracted from the cocoa bean is also beneficial for the skin as it acts as a good and natural skin moisturizer. Cocoa butter is recommended by several dermatologists for curing various skin ailments like dermatitis, prevention of stretch marks during and after pregnancy, eczema, etc. The polyphenols present in the cocoa butter helps by calming the irritation and also has cancer fighting properties.
The antioxidants of the dark chocolate give a glowing and healthy skin. Indulging yourself in a chocolate milk bath, calorie-free cocoa bean skin polish, or a chocolate fondue body wrap. They can be a good option to give your skin a fresh and younger look.
Dark chocolate being the rich in anti- inflammatory antioxidants shows promise of improving acne. Eating 2 ounces of dark chocolate having 70% cocoa improves the skin texture and reduces the extra oiliness. The antioxidants (flavonoids) protect the skin from the various external and internal damages caused to the skin by pollution, smoking and sun damage. The epicatechins present in flavanoids acts as great natural anti- inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant, which guard the skin from damage caused due to aging. Cocoa relives the stress hormones which in turn soothe the collagen in the skin preventing wrinkles and premature aging of the skin.
The flavonoids in dark chocolate make the platelets i your blood less sticky which prevents them from forming clots. Clots block the passage of blood in the blood-vessels which makes the blood pressure high. Flavonoids also help in keeping the arteries relaxed or dilated. The greater the arteries get dilated the more easily the blood flows. The flavanols also boosts the production of endothelial nitric oxide, which also improves the dilatation, and results in lowering of the blood pressure.
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