Can The Most Enormous Dark Chocolate Love Shine On The World?
Does the season of love inspire your dark chocolate fantasies? Folks the world over love brightening up each other’s day with sweet cocoa based treats. For fun, we’re hopping on the Cocoa Caravan (thanks Visually) for a 46 country whirlwind spin to see how others do it. Notice that from the ingredients to the preparation, each chocolate treat speaks to the history, geology, and tastes of the people. Kitchology’s Eat.Better app also speaks to us through wonderful chocolate recipes.
As we hop on board, know that as guilty pleasures go you could do a lot worse than dark chocolate. Made from the seed of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet. Studies also show that nutrient rich dark chocolate can improve health and lower the risk of heart disease. Opt for a higher quality product with a high cocoa content. This nutritious choice contains a mineral rich decent amount of soluble fiber.
The nutrients that matter in chocolate:
A 100 gram bar with 70-85% cocoa contains
- 11 grams of fiber.
- 67% of the RDA for Iron.
- 58% of the RDA for Magnesium.
- 89% of the RDA for Copper.
- 98% of the RDA for Manganese.
- It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.
All these nutrients also come with 600 calories and moderate amounts of sugar. It’s best to savor it in moderation. The fatty acid profile of cocoa and dark chocolate is excellent. The fats are mostly saturated and monounsaturated, with small amounts of polyunsaturates. Beware it also contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine, but is unlikely to keep you awake at night as the amount of caffeine is small compared to amounts in a cup of coffee or tea.
Embrace the evidence that cocoa can provide powerful health benefits
If you are concerned about your blood pressure then give the flavanols a chance. The flavanols in dark chocolate can stimulate the endothelium, the lining of arteries, to produce Nitric Oxide (NO), which is a gas. One of the functions of this compound is to send signals to the arteries to relax, which lowers resistance to blood flow and therefore reduces blood pressure. There are many ongoing studies showing that cocoa and dark chocolate can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.
Other health benefits can include reducing your risk factors for heart disease. In a controlled trial, cocoa powder was found to significantly decrease oxidized LDL cholesterol in men.It also increased HDL and lowered total LDL in men with elevated cholesterol. It has also been known to reduce insulin resistance, which is another common risk factor for many diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Planning on a beach vacation? Before leaving, consider loading up on cocoa’s flavanols reported to improve blood flow to the skin and protect against sun-induced damage.
Get ready to feast your eyes along the Cocoa Caravan. Imagine the taste and texture of each one of these #chocolate delights. How many have you tried?
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