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HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHOCOLATES CONTAINING
A HIGHER PROPORTION OF COCOA SOLIDS

 

1. RICH SOURCE OF VITAL NUTRIENTS

Cocoa solids contains many minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium which makes it a rich source of vital nutrients. (Gunnars, n.d.).
A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains (RDA-Recommended Dietary Allowance)
67% of the RDA for Iron.
58% of the RDA for Magnesium.
89% of the RDA for Copper.
98% of the RDA for Manganese


2. COCOA SOLIDS ARE A RICH SOURCE OF ANTIOXIDANTS

Cocoa solids (derived from cacao nibs) are loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, etc. ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. It is a measure of the antioxidant activity of foods (Gunnars, n.d.).
The graph below shows an ORAC comparison of cacao nibs alongside with fresh fruits.

 

 

3. ENHANCES BLOOD CIRCULATION & REDUCES THE RISK OF STROKE

A recent study conducted by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology found that dark chocolates
helps restore flexibility to arteries while also preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels -
both common causes of artery clogging. (Federation of American Societies For Experimental Biology, 27)
Researchers in Finland have also found that chocolate consumption lowers the risk of suffering a stroke - by a
staggering 17 per cent average in the group of men they tested (Baker, 2016).


4. LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE 

According to a research in the journal of the American medical association. Cocoa polyphenols helped reduce hypertension from 86% to 68% in participants (44 total) aged 56-73 who consumed about 6 grams of Dark chocolate (containing 30 mg of polyphenols ) per day for 18 weeks. (Corti et al., 2009) (Anon., n.d.


5. LOWERS CHOLESTEROL

According to a research published in the American Journal of clinical nutrition , Polyphenols in cocoa powder & dark chocolates lower bad cholesterol (LDL) & aid in raising the antioxidant capacity of good cholesterol (HDL). (Smith, n.d.) (Grassi et al., 2005)


6. ENHANCES BRAIN ACTIVITY 

Professor, Ian Macdonald of metabolic physiology at The University of Nottingham, used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect increased activity in specific areas of the brain in individuals who had consumed a single drink of flavanol-rich cocoa. The effect is linked to dilation of cerebral blood vessels, allowing more blood to flow and therefore more oxygen to reach key areas of the brain.

This research was also presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (Anon., n.d.).


7. REDUCES STRESS LEVELS 

Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is the same chemical that your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release which reduce stress levels (Baker, 2016).


8. CHOCOLATE IS A NATURAL COUGH SUPPRESSANT

Theobromine the alkaloid found in cocoa , is responsible for some of the pleasure you get from eating chocolate also suppresses the vagus nerve, which allows it to work as a cough suppressant. (Stark, 2014) (Usmani et al., 2004)



BIBLIOGRAPHY

Anon., n.d. Self Nutrition Data. [Online] Available at: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/10638/2 [Accessed 2 October 2016].
Baker, A., 2016. The Telegraph. [Online] Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/healthy-eating/chocolate-10-health-reasons-you-should-eat-more-of-it [Accessed 2 October 2016].
Corti, R., Flammer, A.J., Hollenberg, N.K. & Luscher, T.F., 2009. Cocoa and Cardiovascular Health. [Online] Available at: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/119/10/1433.full.
Federation of American Societies For Experimental Biology, 27. Why dark chocolate is good for your heart. [Online] Available at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140227092149.htm.
Grassi, D. et al., 2005. Cocoa Reduces Blood Pressure and Insulin Resistance and Improves Endothelium-Dependent Vasodilation in Hypertensives. Hypertension, pp.398-495. Available at: http://hyper.ahajournals.org/content/46/2/398.long .
Gunnars, K., n.d. Authority Nutrition- An Evidence based Approach. [Online] Available at: https://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate/ [Accessed 2 October 2016].
Smith, B., n.d. Mensfitness. [Online] Available at: http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate [Accessed 2 October 2016].
Stark, E., 2014. Cosmopolitan. [Online] Available at: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/food-cocktails/a23440/health-benefits-dark-chocolate/ [Accessed 2 October 2016].
Usmani, O.S. et al., 2004. Theobromine inhibits Sensory nerve activation and cough. FJ Express, 17 November.
 

 

 


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