The ancient Mayas considered it the food of the gods, in the past, it was a favorite dessert all over the world, and today it is regarded as a healthy snack, and it is recommended to consume two to three cubes a day.
You inevitably suppose that we are talking about the sweet and delicious pleasure called “dark chocolate.”
Scientists at Northern Arizona University found that attention and concentration are growing if you eat a bit of chocolate with a lot of cocoa during the day. According to researcher Larry Stevens, dark chocolate that contains about 60% cocoa gave excellent results when it comes to strengthening the concentration. Research has shown that one cube of dark chocolate reduces the risk of diabetes, so those who consume chocolate six times a week reduce the risk of diabetes by 34 % compared to those who eat one cubicle once and four times a month.
“Nutrients that are an integral part of dark chocolate affect our health, but it is necessary to have at least 70% cocoa in its composition.”
Below is a simplified list of each chocolate category and its health benefits upon consumption:
Unsweetened (85-100% cocoa beans)
-The best dark chocolate percentage to consume containing anywhere from 85-100% cocoa beans, even though most find it hard to eat since it has such a bitter taste.
Bittersweet (65-80% cocoa beans)
-This type of chocolate is often used for cooking (like the unsweetened) but is considered extremely tolerable to eat alone.
Semisweet (35-60% cocoa beans)
-Semisweet is usually made of around 40-60% cocoa beans and contains more sugar than bittersweet chocolate, making it less healthy to consume but sweeter to eat.
Milk Chocolate (10-20% cocoa beans)
-The one with the least nutritional benefits, this form of chocolate is required by the FDA to have a minimum of 10% cocoa solids and 12% milk solids (condensed milk, cream, dried milk, milk powder, etc.)
White Chocolate (0% cocoa beans)
-To be called white chocolate, it has to have a minimum of 20% cocoa butter and 14% milk solids, with no more of the candy allowed to be made up of 55% sugar. Often, white chocolate is flavored with vanilla.
“Dark chocolate is ultimately candy – a high quality treat with specific health benefits that you should savor and enjoy in moderate doses, not gorge on as if it were a meal.”
-Black chocolate is the only dessert in which you will find phosphorus, potassium, and iron. It also contains and contains significant amounts of two essential minerals: magnesium and copper.
-40 grams of daily dark chocolate provides 15% of all daily magnesium requirements, which is very important in the production of energy, healthy bones and strong muscles.
-40 grams of dark chocolate provides 34% of the daily needs of copper that helps the body to produce neurotransmitters that effectively improves cardiovascular health.
-Dark chocolate contains stimulants such as caffeine and theobromine, but they will not affect your sleep at night because the amount of caffeine is minimal compared to the coffee.
-Studies have shown that dark chocolate contains more antioxidant activity due to the high concentration of polyphenols and flavonoids from other tested fruits, such as blueberries and acai berries.
-Dark chocolate also includes the whole range of vitamins from group B, vitamin E, and beta-carotene.
-The main ingredient of chocolate is cocoa beans, the fruit of the plant cocoa “Theobroma cacao” which means “food of the Gods.” Bitter chocolate is produced by pressing roasted cocoa kernels (seeds) between hot rollers. Cocoa powder is produced by squeezing the fat (cocoa butter) from bitter chocolate and powdering the remaining material. Sweet chocolate is created by adding sugar and vanilla to bitter chocolate. White chocolate contains sugar, cocoa butter, and milk solids.
-Dark chocolate history goes back at least 3,000 years and fermented beverages made from chocolate date back to 1900 BC. After its arrival to Europe in the sixteenth century, sugar was added to it, and it became popular throughout society, first among the ruling classes and then among the ordinary people. In the 20th century, chocolate was considered essential in the rations of United States soldiers at World War I.
-Historians believe the candy bar dates all the way back to 1847. It was in that year in Great Britain when Joseph Fry and his son first pressed a paste made up of cocoa powder and sugar into a bar shape. Two years later, John Cadbury developed his unique brand of chocolate bar. Fry and Cadbury eventually joined forces to become famous candy bar confectioners.
-The 2010 Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee supports incorporating moderate amounts of dark chocolate as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
“Worldwide consumption of chocolate is estimated to be at least 7.2 million metric tons annually.”
-indigestion, headache, and heartburn
-dark chocolate contains ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions
-too much dark chocolate could cause dangerous swings in blood sugar levels if you have diabetes.
-dark chocolate could cause problems if you already suffer from hypertension or heart disease
-it may be addictive, so do not overdo it, eat it in moderation quantities
-it can also cause digestive complaints including nausea, intestinal discomfort, stomach rumbling, and gas.
-the caffeine in large amounts of cocoa might make anxiety disorders worse
-consuming a lot of cocoa might increase the risk of bleeding and bruise in people with bleeding disorders
-the caffeine in cocoa increases pressure in the eye and should be used cautiously in people with glaucoma
-dark chocolate should be used carefully in people with osteoporosis
-stop eating dark chocolate at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery
“The United States accounts for 20% of the world consumption of chocolate with a monetary value of approximately $20 billion. Europe consumes close to 50% of the world’s chocolate. The average European consumes 24 pounds of chocolate a year, and the average American consumes half that amount.”
-It alleviates a cough
-It lowers high blood pressure
-Reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke
-Helps with high cholesterol
-It improves mood and relieves stress
-It is rich in antioxidants
-It reduces the inflammations
-It can be an ally in fighting overweight pounds
-It protects the arteries and improves circulation
-It enhances the mood and raises brain functions
-Helps fight anemia
-Reduces the risk of diabetes
-Dark chocolate improves sleep
-It can protect you against the harmful effects of the sun
-Dark chocolate may also be beneficial when diarrhea occurs.
“Dark chocolate represents approximately 20% of overall chocolate consumed in the United States and 30% of all chocolate consumption in Switzerland.”
Interesting to know: The main reason for promoting dark chocolate as healthy food is the high amount of flavonoids – powerful antioxidants that you can find in tea, black wine, apples, but in significantly smaller amounts. In March 2007, the Association of Chocolate Manufacturers began lobbying the FDA to change the legal definition of chocolate. The lobbying has one goal to enable the replacement of “safe and appropriate vegetable fats and oils” (including partially hydrogenated vegetable oils) for cocoa butter in addition to using “any sweetening additive” (including artificial sweeteners) and milk. Currently, the FDA does not allow the product to be referred to as “chocolate” if the product contains some of these three ingredients.
Remember: Dark chocolate is always a healthier choice than white chocolate. But, dark chocolate is calorie food that needs to be consumed very limited. 100 grams of dark chocolate is a pretty large amount of daily intake. All these nutrients come together with 600 calories and moderate amounts of sugar. If you’re pregnant or have health conditions such as obesity, heart problems or hypertension, consult your doctor before making dark chocolate a regular part of your diet.