We all know chocolate tastes good, but did you know it has emotional and physical benefits as well?
Recently there have been many studies on the effects of chocolate and it has been shown that by liberating endorphins, chocolate can provide us with a sense of well being as well as energy and pleasure. It’s no wonder that some women surveyed stated that they preferred chocolate to sex!
Now I’m not talking about the junky chocolate bars you find in the candy counter. In order to get the benefits of chocolate you need to eat the good stuff – the kind that has at least 71 percent real cocoa. This is the gourmet chocolate that you probably never buy for yourself. But now that you know it’s good for you feel free to indulge, the extra money you spend will be well worth the health benefits and taste!
The rich texture and taste of this high quality chocolate acts as a pleasure for the senses. It can be an aphrodisiac and also can help energize you as it contains caffeine as well as serotonin which can lift your mood.
Even better than that, though is that eating chocolate also can benefit your health!
Dark chocolate contains phenols which promotes cardiovascular health. According to the British Medical Journal eating 100 grams of dark chocolate reduces blood pressure as well as cardiovascular incidents by 21 percent. And phenols are also loaded with antioxidants which help to battle free radicals that can cause disease.
The cocoa butter in chocolate has been used topically to heal scars and burns and chocolate is a good source of magnesium which is a mineral many of us do not get enough of. With all these things going for it, it’s no wonder there is ongoing researching using chocolate in the development of medicines that can fight diseases like cancer and osteoporosis.
But as well all know, chocolate is fattening. Your best bet is to eat the dark chocolate which has less sugar and also more phenols. Of course, you should eat it in moderation – scarfing down 3 chocolate bars in one sitting probably won’t have 3 times the health benefits and the extra sugar and fat can have a detrimental effect on your health.
It shouldn’t be too hard to find the type of chocolate that is good for your, however you may not be able to just pop down to the local grocery to pick it up. A trip to my local supermarket in search of chocolate with 71% cocoa was a bust. The closest I could find was an organic bar that had 70% cocoa. You may need to take a trip to an organic or chocolate specialty store. If you go with organic chocolate, you can be assured that they don’t contain organochlorine pesticides which are typically used in treating cocoa crops and are harmful to your health.
So take a trip down to your local organic food stores and pick up some great dark chocolate – it will be worth the trip and the expense to enjoy this healthy food guilt free!
Lee Dobbins writes for Online Gourmet Foods where you can learn more about the health benefits of chocolate.