It seems that by eating one piece of chocolate a day keeps the doctor away due to its antioxidant virtues and anti-depressive effects which are often praised by experts. We wonder if there are some chocolates better than others for health and if we can become addicted to it. Let’s see if it is good or bad for our health.
Health Effects of Chocolate
Chocolate is produced from the cocoa beans which are the seeds of a small Central American tree called Theobroma cacao which bears the pods containing the beans.
To obtain chocolate, these beans must undergo a fermentation, and then they have to be roasted and dried like coffee. These seeds are subsequently transformed into a liquid paste from which the fat portion, in other words cocoa butter, is extracted. The different types of chocolates are obtained depending on the addition of sugar, cocoa butter or spices or milk.
Chocolate contains vitamins like vitamin B and E, polyphenols and other antioxidants, which are very good to fight the free that accelerate aging. It is rich in magnesium, potassium and iron. 100 grams of milk chocolate provide one-third of the recommended daily intake of potassium.
Chocolate also contains theobromine, a bitter alkaloid of the same family as caffeine. It acts on the kidneys, it is a diuretic, and it has an antitussive effect. It is a cardio-stimulant and a vasodilator, and it is also an aggravating factor in gastroesophageal acid reflux for the reason that this molecule loosens the muscles of the gastroesophageal sphincter that blocks the passage to the esophagus.
Chocolate has effects on the brain as well. It contains tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin and a chemical messenger that improves mood, a kind of natural antidepressant. But in chocolate, there is also anandamide, a molecule that binds to the same receptors as cannabis. This creates a sensation of pleasure, which can also result in a slight addiction.
What are the basic ingredients of a dark chocolate bar?
It is not easy to choose chocolate in front of the profusion of shelves that invade the shelves of chocolate shops and supermarkets, especially since cocoa butter is no longer the only fat allowed to manufacture it, and it is also sometimes found in vegetable fats in a content of 5% at max.
Some people like it raw. The difference between raw and cooked chocolate is made during manufacture. Raw chocolate is a type of chocolate of which we speak rather little. Found in France, it is becoming more and more fashionable. The reason for its success is that we often praise its strong side in cocoa almost ‘doping’ a little in the manner of coffee.