August 4, 2022, 8:03 p.m. | Medicine
Benefits of bitter chocolate.
Not only ourselves, but also many professionals in nutrition and medicine are big fans of dark chocolate. For them, chocolate can also be a favorite treat! Indeed, real dark chocolate – 65-70% cocoa beans lowers blood pressure, strengthens the heart and brain, and also reduces cravings for sweet and salty foods. It is even included in many weight loss diets. The problem is that we often eat chocolate very diligently. The maximum amount of bitter chocolate consumed is 25 g per day, Ukr.Media informs.
Benefits of bitter chocolate
We all know about antioxidants that neutralize (attach and eliminate) free radicals in our body, ensuring heart health. They also prevent premature aging of the cells of our body. So, bitter chocolate contains a huge amount of antioxidants! There are even more of them in cocoa beans than in green tea or red wine.
Chocolate increases the tone of the body, because the alkaloids, theobromine and caffeine in its composition stimulate our metabolism. And it's not a myth that dark chocolate improves mood, it's a joyful reality!
In turn, polyphenols contained in dark chocolate strengthen the cardiovascular system. A reasonable amount of dark chocolate improves the performance of the circulatory system, prevents the formation of blood clots and increases our performance.
If you regularly eat chocolate more than the norm or give preference to milk chocolate with various additives, carbohydrates in the body will be deposited in the form of fat.
Chocolate can also be dangerous if it is made from low-quality raw materials. Such chocolate or cocoa powder gives the final product a sour taste instead of bitter. As a result, the acidity of the stomach increases, gastritis and other diseases are possible.
In addition, chocolate is not recommended for people with kidney disease.
Bitter chocolate is contraindicated for children. The caffeine content of a bar of dark chocolate exceeds the caffeine content of a cup of strong coffee.
Under no circumstances should you give chocolate to cats and dogs. Theobromine contained in chocolate, even in small amounts, is poisonous to them. Make sure woolly friends can't get to your chocolate stash.
5 ways to make chocolate good for your health
If you find that your 2-3 chocolate bar treats quickly turn into handfuls, try adding some dark chocolate to your meals and snacks instead. Here are five fun ways to enjoy chocolate without harming your health.
Add chocolate to smoothies and other mixes
In addition to adding a tablespoon of grated dark chocolate to your smoothie, you can get the benefit of chocolate by adding unsweetened cocoa powder to your smoothie. The chocolate aroma and sweetness of cherries can mask the bitterness of greens, for example, cabbage juice. This will allow you to drink an extra glass of vitamin drink.
When buying cocoa powder, try to choose pure unprocessed cocoa, without additives and flavorings. Pay attention to the fact that natural cocoa powder should taste bitter. Carbonated cocoa powder with reduced acidity is often sold in stores. This greatly reduces the antioxidant content of cocoa. Such processing is done to reduce bitterness, but it is no longer a complete product for our health.
Improve cereal with chocolate
Add some healthy variety to your main meals for the day. Crumble a piece of dark chocolate into hot oatmeal or add chocolate chips to a banana or strawberry. Studies have shown that adding a small dessert to breakfast has helped people who lose weight not to lose weight again by reducing hunger and helping control appetite. This dietary technique helped reduce the level of ghrelin in the blood, the so-called hunger hormone. Chocolate for weight loss? Of course!
Melt the chocolate
Melt some dark chocolate with a third of a cup of hot water. And then, stirring constantly, pour chopped fresh fruit, popcorn or something else to your taste. Be sure to add aromatic spices, such as cinnamon, vanilla or nutmeg.
Don't stop there! The most successful chefs are now combining dark chocolate with the most unexpected foods: chocolate-covered asparagus, roasted cauliflower drizzled with dark chocolate, chocolate-covered olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and chocolate garlic cloves. Try this completely new taste!
Add chocolate to nuts
Most of us love nuts and seeds. Including walnuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, pumpkin and others. There are many ways to prepare them deliciously. One of them is to add crushed dried fruit without sugar and preservatives to the nuts, add some grated fresh ginger, some oatmeal and dark chocolate chips. This mixture can be used to season a fruit salad or as a filling for cakes. And you can add it to boiled vegetables – it will be delicious in any case!
Decorate the taste of unsweetened dishes with chocolate
Vegetables seasoned with dark chocolate, it sounds quite unusual. But traditional Mexican sauces often include dark chocolate or cocoa. To diversify your menu, chocolate can be added to vegetarian dishes and even to hummus. Delicious!
If you do not have any diseases, when chocolate is excluded from the diet, it is recommended to systematically indulge yourself with bitter chocolate. But allow yourself no more than 25 g of dark chocolate per day.
In addition to the above-mentioned beneficial properties, bitter chocolate stabilizes high blood pressure. Saves from tartar, because chocolate creates a protective film on the surface of tooth enamel. Reduces the level of cortisol in the blood — the stress hormone. Prevents various inflammations that lead to cardiovascular diseases.
Research in London proved that bitter chocolate helps with cough even more than ordinary cough tablets.
And finally dark chocolate improves mood – a scientifically proven fact!