Not everyone needs a reason to eat chocolate. But it’s always nice to know there are valid health reasons that support this pleasure. Even then, it’s no excuse to understand which type of chocolate has the most health benefits value.
A December 2012 UK study with 300 patients in 13 hospitals used theobromine, extracted from cacao, to successfully stabilize chronic coughing. The amount used was 1000 mg of theobromine twice daily for two weeks. A dark chocolate candy bar high in cacao or cocoa contains around 450 mg of theobromine per ounce. 
Since the average dark chocolate bar is three ounces, it would take slightly over 2/3 of the bar to provide that amount of theobromine. By the way, the only differences between cacao and cocoa are the spelling and pronunciation. 
Unfortunately, the coughing symptoms returned for most patients after the theobromine dosing was stopped. But another study in London, England determined that theobromine was more efficacious for coughing the codeine, which is what’s normally prescribed for chronic coughing. 
That’s not all there is to cacao health benefits
Most candy consumers lean toward the types of
Good news for all you chocolate lovers out there, new research has found this divine food has even more health boosting advantages than previously recognized. Not only does it enhance both cardiovascular and mental well-being, but it also lowers body mass index (BMI) and insulin resistance. However, before consuming chocolate with wild abandon, it’s important to discern between the different varieties – and choose only superfood grades for ultimate benefit.
Food of the gods (and mere mortals too)
Relished for over 3,000 years, chocolate (also known as cacao in its purest form) has been used as a potent tonic, aphrodisiac and mighty food across cultures and continents. The ancient Aztecs raised cacao worship to new levels, reserving it for royalty and specific ceremonies. Europeans stumbled upon the delights of this strange ‘almond’ while exploring the New World and quickly adopted it as a remedy for fevers, mental fatigue, tuberculosis, poor digestion and gout. Fast forward to the present day and modern research has uncovered still more health enhancing features of this magical bean.
A new study slated to begin this year at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston will measure the health effects of a dietary supplement made with concentrated cocoa flavanols. The study will involve 18,000 healthy volunteers and will last at least four years to determine if the supplement can prevent heart attack, stroke and heart disease deaths.
Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of the division of Preventive Medicine at Brigham and lead researcher of the trial, states that “[t]he amount of flavanols they’ll be getting is more than 10 times the average chocolate intake by Americans. Eating this amount in chocolate would lead to significant weight gain,” according to Boston.com. Manson and her colleagues will also examine whether women who take a multivitamin lower their risk of cancer compared to those who take a placebo.
The researchers involved in the study are excited about learning whether the use of daily vitamins help discourage cancer development, as well as if cocoa flavanols live up to their reputation of promoting cardiovascular health.
Why eating dark chocolate is still beneficial
If you still prefer
I do not eat a lot of red meat anymore. I have been eating a lot of vegetables and fruits. When I do eat red meat, I prefer to eat Montana beef. If I am having a steak, roast or even burgers, I want grass-finished cattle to be the source of the beef. You probably have heard of grass-fed beef, but grass-finished is different. Just because a cow is allowed to eat some grass does not mean it was raised on grasses. It takes more to not just feed a cow corn. The meat I get is obviously different from the stuff I see in the stores. Plus, it tastes a whole lot better.
A grass-finished cow is not exposed to antibiotics or growth hormones. Continue reading
Singapore is one of the great country in Southeast Asia. Besides, Singapore is really close to our country. We can go there and visit many interesting places in Singapore. If you have not been there, it is the right time for you to start your best holiday. There are many kinds of things that you should prepare for the best and the great journey in Singapore. Are you interested and you want to have the best holiday ever in Singapore? Let’s see some of the tips as follows.
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benefits: Not just for Valentines’ Day – find out how to get the best chocolate and roses for your health
Chocolate and roses are symbols of Valentines Day and any day requiring romance. And both, chocolate and roses, are good for your health, containing nutrients and vitamins that help lower blood pressure, treat depression, grow healthy hair and skin, and increase immunity.
Health benefits and facts about chocolate
Chocolate contains ingredients that can lower your blood pressure, prevent memory loss, reduce insulin resistance that leads to diabetes, and treat depression. Chocolate contains fiber that helps lower cholesterol levels, and magnesium to calm the nervous system. The cocoa bean is high in antioxidants that absorb free radicals. An angiotension enzyme in chocolate has been shown in clinical research to lower blood pressure. This study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2003. The results of this German research showed that dark chocolate, not white chocolate eaten by the control group, lowers blood pressure. Chocolate also reduces the risk of atherosclerosis. The flavonoids in chocolate are catechin and epicatechin; chocolate contains a good deal of the “healthy” fats, the oleic and linoleic acids. Research in 2012
Snacking on pistachios and dark chocolate for heart health? Hand them over! It’s hard to imagine a tastier duo.
And the science confirming this is in for both snack treats individually. But it shouldn’t require further clinical research to grasp that combining them offers even more protection against cardiovascular disease (CVD). It’s a no-brainer.
The dark chocolate study
There have been a few recent studies confirming cacao and dark chocolate’s positive influence on cardiovascular health. Some of them were funded by Barry Callebaut’s Swiss based international company, Callebaut Chocolate, to obtain legal authorization for promoting chocolate as a health food
But the earliest may have been the Italian study reported in the October 2008 issue of the Journal of Nutrition. This test measured levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) blood levels among groups who ate no chocolate against those who did.
CRP is a protein marker produced by the liver that indicates inflammation is occurring throughout the body as the CRP count increases. The CRP blood test is used as an early warning for cardiovascular disease (CVD).
The 2008 Moli-sani Project in Italy used 4,849 regional residents for general research to determine genetic and environmental factors that develop cancer
Good news for chocolate lovers: eating a small square of dark chocolate daily can help improve your health in many ways. Not only dark chocolate is rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and other minerals, it is also believed that the cocoa bean has potential benefits on cardiovascular health, brain function, skin health, mood and even cancer risk.
Dark chocolate may help lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease
Dark chocolate contains particularly high quantities of phytochemicals known as flavanols, which have potential influences on vascular health. As a matter of fact, chocolate may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease thanks to its anti-inflammation action and by lowering blood pressure and decreasing LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol). Researchers also found that insulin resistance (a risk factor for diabetes) was significantly lowered in those who ate the dark chocolate.
But what about the fat found in the cacao bean? It’s true that cacao contains some saturated fat. But fat in chocolate comes from cocoa butter, which is made up of equal amounts of oleic acid (a healthy monounsaturated fat), stearic and palmitic acids (some forms of saturated fat that appear to have a neutral effect
Though many think of chocolate as a vice, it should be thought of as a health food. Why? Because chocolate is very high in many essential nutrients, appears to prevent heart disease and stroke, and can even decrease stress.
Chocolate is mineral rich
You might not intuitively think so, but chocolate is very rich in minerals. A standard 100 gram dark chocolate bar contains 98 percent of a person’s recommended daily value of manganese, 89 percent DV of copper, 67 percent DV of iron, 58 percent DV of Magnesium, 31 percent DV of phosphorous, 22 percent DV of Zinc, 21 percent DV of potassium, and 10 percent DV of selenium. We literally cannot survive without these minerals, and unfortunately many of us who live in modern civilizations are not getting the recommended amount through our diet.
An antioxidant powerhouse
Made up of more than just minerals, chocolate also contains the health-promoting compounds caffeine, theobromine, resveratrol, epicatechin, anandamide, tryptophan, phenylethylamine and polyphenol. These compounds are known to increase energy, focus, and positive feelings. The antioxidant content of chocolate is mindboggling too. Chocolate has the highest ORAC score, which is used to measure the antioxidant content
The plethora of research done on chocolate’s tremendous health benefits has primarily studied raw cacao and processed dark chocolate. Raw foodies and experts argue that raw cacao contain all of the health inducing benefits left intact, while processing destroys much of the nutrients. Raw cacao also stars as a superfood with higher antioxidant counts compared to processed cocoa.
Summary of cocoa research
Tremendous research has been done on cacao health benefits. Study findings confirm that cocoa benefits cardiovascular health, blood pressure, atherosclerosis, mood and aging. Cocoa contains several important nutrients including vitamins A, C, and E, along with magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, potassium and zinc. It has been discovered that raw cocoa has more antioxidants than any other food, including acai berries and blueberries. Chocolate’s healthful phenolic compounds have also made cocoa an important food for study.
An analysis of some cardiovascular research states the following: “It is important to strictly differentiate between the natural product cacao and the processed product chocolate, which refers to the combination of cocoa, sugar, and eventually milk and other ingredients into a solid food product. Many of the health effects of cocoa and its contents discussed here may not be applicable
A team of researchers from Louisiana State University has made a fascinating new discovery with regard to the health benefits of chocolate. Announcing their findings at the recent 247th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society in Dallas, the group explained how beneficial bacteria in the gut actually convert chocolate compounds into anti-inflammatory nutrients that help protect against stroke and heart disease.
Using three different types of cocoa powder for their experiments, the scientists tested the effects of chocolate consumption using a model digestive tract made of test tubes. The tubes were filled with typical bacteria colonies found in a healthy human digestive tract and exposed to chocolate for the purpose of initiating the anaerobic fermentation process, which is what converts food into digestible nutrients.
Cocoa powder, in case you were unaware, contains a variety of polyphenolic antioxidant compounds as well as dietary fiber, both of which are poorly digested and absorbed during the initial stages of consumption. But when these substances eventually reach the colon, they are apparently broken down by special bacteria that convert them into different compounds that the body can actually use.
“In our study we found that the fiber is fermented and the large
Much has been said about the health benefits of chocolate, and a new study set to take place over the next four years could help clarify whether or not all the hype surrounding this sweet treat is really substantiated. Sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), as well as Mars Inc., maker of Snickers and M&M’s, the study will evaluate the effects of high-dose cocoa flavanols in human test subjects to see if chocolate really can prevent heart attacks and strokes as claimed.
Slated to include 18,000 men and women from both Seattle and Boston, the study will compare the health outcomes of some participants taking a daily dose of 750 milligrams of cocoa flavanols — this is the equivalent of what is found in about five bars of dark chocolate — to others taking a placebo. Rather than consume actual chocolate bars, participants will instead take a daily pill containing a concentrated dose of the key nutrients.
According to an Associated Press (AP) announcement, the unique study not only is larger than previous ones involving chocolate, the findings of which it aims to affirm, but is also being better constructed. By looking at cocoa flavanols specifically
Cardiovascular disease continues to be the leading cause of death in the US and most western cultures, despite the overwhelming volumes of evidence that clearly demonstrate how this killer develops as a result of poor diet, lack of physical activity and a multitude of lifestyle digressions that have been repeatedly documented by nutritional researchers. In addition to eliminating hydrogenated fats, trans fats and processed foods from the diet, scientists have shown that natural nutrients such as omega-3 fats, resveratrol, vitamin D and EGCG from green tea all reduce oxidative stress and squelch inflammatory cytokines that wreak havoc and perpetuate many chronic disease processes throughout the body.
Over the course of the last decade, nutritionists and health researchers have been uncovering the many benefits of eating dark chocolate, due largely to the flavanols found in cocoa. Two new independent studies support prior works showing how cocoa lowers inflammation levels to promote heart health. Researchers in the Netherlands have released the results of their work in The FASEB Journal that explains how eating dark chocolate reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, the thickening and hardening of the arteries, by restoring flexibility of the arteries and preventing white blood cells from sticking to
The list of health benefits attributed to eating dark chocolate continues to grow! Now, new research published in American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry indicates that dark chocolate can help prevent type 2 diabetes and even obesity! The scientists found that in mice the administration of a certain antioxidant in dark chocolate lowered their blood sugar levels and prevented the mice from gaining excess weight!
The mice were fed diets of varying fat levels along with different types of flavanols (antioxidants) in chocolate. The cocoa of dark chocolate is one of the most flavanol-rich foods we know of! It was found that one type of flavanol called “oligomeric procyanidins” (PCs) was able to prevent mice from gaining excess weight even when they were fed a high-fat diet! Not only that, but these PCs may also be able to prevent type 2 diabetes, because they were able to improve glucose tolerance in the mice. The researchers said, “Oligomeric PCs appear to possess the greatest antiobesity and antidiabetic bioactivities of the flavanols in cocoa, particularly at the low doses employed for the present study.”
The Benefits of Dark Chocolate Don’t Stop There
Chocolate is made not, strictly speaking, from the seeds of the cacao tree but from the entire seed pod. To make chocolate, the pods are broken open and the mix of seeds and mucilaginous pulp within is left in the sun for several days to ferment.
Wild yeast partially digests the cell walls of the beans and causes them to heat up, killing the embryo and guaranteeing that the beans will not sprout. Even more importantly, the fermentation step produces the characteristic chocolate flavor of the final product!
After fermentation, the beans are stripped of pulp and must then be dried as quickly as possible to prevent the growth of mold. When possible, this is done by spreading the beans out in the sun for 5-7 days, but ovens or other industrial drying methods may be used if necessary.
After drying, the beans are sorted, inspected and shipped to chocolate makers. The chocolate makers will roast the beans for between 30 minutes and two hours, which heightens the chocolaty flavor and causes the hulls to break away from the nibs.
In addition to its other proven health benefits, dark chocolate may also improve the health of peripheral arteries, enhance blood flow to the legs and improve walking ability, according to a study conducted by researchers from Sapienza University of Rome and published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
“Polyphenol-rich nutrients could represent a new therapeutic strategy to counteract cardiovascular complications,” senior author Francesco Violi, MD, said.
Dark chocolate improves walking endurance
Peripheral artery disease is characterized by obstructed or narrowed arteries decreasing the blood flow between the heart and the brain, stomach, legs and hands. Common symptoms include fatigue, cramping or pain in the hips and legs.
Dark chocolate is particularly high in plant compounds known as polyphenols, particularly flavanols. Polyphenols — found to a certain degree in all plant foods — act as antioxidants in the body, and evidence increasingly suggests that they may play a key role in promoting health and fighting disease. Evidence suggests that the high polyphenol content of chocolate may be behind many of its disease-fighting benefits.
“Nutrients are key components of health and disease,” said study co-author Lorenzo Loffredo, MD.
Researchers assigned 20 peripheral artery disease patients between the ages of 60
walking ability of patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD)
According to a small study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, people with Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) were able to walk longer distances unassisted after consuming dark chocolate as opposed to mere milk chocolate.(1) Polyphenols, which are chemicals that are found in a range of healthy foods, from dark chocolate and strawberries to purple grapes and red cabbage, have long been touted fro their health benefits.(2) Everything from reduction of high blood pressure levels to diabetes management has been linked to diets rich in polyphenols.
Outcome of study assessing PAD patients and their type of chocolate consumption
The study analyzed men and women aged 60-78 with the condition, which can cause pain and cramps that make walking extremely difficult.(1) After being given dark chocolate and asked to use a treadmill on one day, and then eating milk chocolate and using a treadmill on another day, it was observed that those who ate the dark chocolate walked 11 percent farther and 15 percent longer, or 39 feet farther and approximately 17 seconds longer, compared to the milk chocolate eaters. The dark chocolate contained over
The heart-health benefits of chocolate are well documented in the scientific literature. But a new review by scientists from the University of Campinas in Brazil casts a shadow on commercial chocolate as a safe source for obtaining these benefits, having found that many of the chocolate products sold in Brazil contain worrying amounts of both lead and cadmium.
Published in the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the research looked at 30 different brands of milk, dark and white chocolate products sold throughout Brazil — some of these products are also sold in the U.S. Researchers tested each of the products for the two metals, both of which can cause brain damage and other health problems, particularly in children.
They found that many of them contained concerning levels of lead and cadmium, which are believed to enter cacao beans through tainted soil. While all of the products tested below the maximum safety thresholds established by the Brazilian government, the European Union and the World Health Organization, two of them tested higher than the limits established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Based on the tests, two of the chocolates were found to contain levels of
Chocolate goodies can be so incredibly tempting! Unfortunately, most commercial candy bars and treats are full of less-than-ideal ingredients. So why not try making your own chocolate treats, instead? It’s the best way to control the quality of your ingredients! Even a novice in the kitchen can easily whip up this simple homemade recipe for dairy-free, chocolate-banana pudding! It will satisfy your chocolate craving without the guilt, because it’s made with natural ingredients and a raw healthy fat that you may not expect to find in a dessert!
Bananas are one of the natural ingredients in this recipe, and they add a good dose of potassium to this treat. Avocados are the surprising star of this dairy-free delight. They are packed with raw, healthy fat that gives this pudding a dairy-like creaminess. Avocados are also loaded with fiber, and they contain more potassium per ounce than bananas!
Unlike commercial varieties, this pudding is sweetened with natural, raw honey — a sweetener that actually contributes to your health. Raw honey is full of vitamins and minerals; it contains high levels of antioxidants, and it actually reduces the inflammation associated with many conditions (e.g., allergies, infections). Make sure that you purchase honey
Mention chocolate to anyone, especially during the holidays, and they are all ears. Nothing seems to bring on such a feeling of mental euphoria than a good dose of chocolate. However, the benefits of chocolate are hit and miss depending on the source, additives, and processing.
This is why a high quality source of chocolate in the form raw cacao is very important, as it can bring the freshness and health benefits of chocolate products, without the drawbacks.
Raw versus processed cacao
When you are consuming most chocolate products, they have gone through high heat processing that destroys the majority of the cacao’s nutrients. In comparison, raw cacao is subjected to very low heat in order to separate the seeds from the cacao bean and is then cold pressed, which leaves the majority of its nutrients intact.
When comparing the antioxidant (ORAC) values of raw cacao powder and processed or roasted cacao powder, the difference is significant and in favor of the raw cacao. Therefore, choosing raw results in higher levels of nutrients and benefits, which is a direct benefit to you.
Healing benefits of cacao
Called “black gold” by the Spanish, cacao has been considered