Chocolate is a food derived from the seeds of the cocoa tree ( Theobroma cacao L.).The ingredients of the dark dough are cocoa paste, cocoa butter, vanilla, sugar and vegetable fats.
Nutritional values and calories :
Dark chocolate is made from cocoa beans, which are not really completely seeds. They are the seeds of the fruit of the cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao).
|Total carbohydrates||8 gr|
|Vitamin E||6 mg|
|Vitamin K||2 mg|
Possible beneficial effects
Despite the high content of polyphenols, with moderately antioxidant effects, dark chocolate is a food to be consumed in moderation due to the high content in saturated fats and the high energy intake.
Cocoa is a huge source of flavonoids, famous antioxidants also present in other natural substances such as tea, coffee or red wine.
The darker the chocolate , the higher the% of flavonoids contained inside. In a bar of 100 gr of extra-dark chocolate we find about 50-60 mg of antioxidants.
These substances are also responsible for the bitterness of dark chocolate.
Flavonoids have significant beneficial effects on our health:
- They reduce cholesterol levels
- Have a protective effect on the whole cardiovascular system (heart in particular)
- They have an anti-aging effect, improving the health of the skin and our body,
2) ANTI-HYPERTENSIVE EFFECT
Cocoa intake is linked to a greater production of NITRIC OXIDE, a substance with a vasodilating action. This translates into a decrease in blood pressure and a lower risk of incurring diseases that affect our cardiovascular system.
3) HAS A REAL ANTIDEPRESSANT AND ANTISTRESS EFFECT
The association happiness and chocolate is not wrong, in fact taking dark chocolate increases the production of serotonin.
A low serotonin level is associated with:
- Mood alteration
- Sleep and concentration problems.
This makes us understand how an increase in the concentration of serotonin, can bring a significant benefit on mood and depression.In addition, the intake of chocolate is also linked to an increase in the production of endorphins , very important molecules for regulating mood and pleasure.
4) HAS AN ENERGIZING EFFECT
Chocolate contains various active ingredients with an energizing action such as caffeine, theobromine and theophylline, also contained in coffee and tea .These substances have a stimulating action at the level of our nervous system by increasing concentration and reducing the sense of tiredness and fatigue.
5) IMPROVE MEMORY
A recent study has shown that regular dark chocolate consumption is associated with an increase in brain blood flow.In addition, the high content of flavonoids and phosphorus improves cognitive ability.
Dark chocolate benefits for the heart
Thanks to some substances contained in cocoa, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, dark chocolate has cardioprotective properties; these substances, in fact, help the arteries to remain flexible and healthy, having an anti-hypertensive effect. Furthermore, thanks to the presence of theobromine, dark chocolate acts on the musculature of the heart with cardio-stimulating effects that help to stop heart attacks .