Part II of “The Health Benefits of Chocolate”
At first the phrase, “Chocolate as a Health Food” sounds a bit absurd, but take a look at a piece under a microscope and suddenly it isn’t so far-fetched. Cocoa, in its rawest form, is naturally, absolutely packed with all sorts of good things that have been scientifically proven to benefit a person’s health. When cocoa is processed and made into chocolate some of these ingredients are removed during the process, but higher quality gourmet chocolate retains more of these natural healthy components when the cocoa is refined into chocolate. Therefore, high quality chocolate is healthier.
Long gone are the days of taking chalky, artificial flavored vitamins shaped in the image of popular cartoon characters to obtain a healthy dose of vitamins. The new alternative is chocolate! Yes, chocolate! Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is completely full of essential vitamins and minerals Including magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium, and manganese as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and pantothenic acid. Cocoa boasts the highest natural source of magnesium. It is said that a diet high in magnesium drastically aids in preventing symptoms of hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, joint problems and pre-menstrual tension. So yes ladies, if you get bad cramps or mood swings, don’t ignore that chocolate craving! It’s just the body’s way of telling you what it needs.
On top of all the vitamins and minerals chocolate contains, it also has some other interesting properties that can benefit your health as well. There’s nothing more satisfying than melting a decadent piece of Gourmet chocolate in your mouth after a rough day. Some people automatically reach for chocolate when they are sad, and scientists have figured out why. Chocolate contains a natural, mild mood elevator called phenylethylamine (PEA) which is produced when emotions such as love and joy are felt. In addition to this, chocolate has been shown to boost the neurotransmitter serotonin, which acts as the brains natural anti-depressant mechanism, and on top of all that it also increases endorphin levels in the brain which greatly elevates mood. Chocolate can be a powerful yet simple solution to overcoming a bad day at the office or satisfying an intense craving.
Chocolate has long been revered by ancient cultures such as the Mayans for its taste as well as its medicinal properties, and we are just figuring out today the many health benefits chocolate has to offer. There are so many great things that chocolate can do for you, so go eat a little chocolate today! Check out our great Ancient Aztec chocolate bar inspired by the Aztecs and Mayans use of chocolate.
If you haven't read it already, Part 1 of the Health Benefits of Chocolate explains even more benefits!