The truth about why we must eat chocolate every day!
The number of health benefits now associated with the cocoa bean are really quite impressive, including benefits to your heart and blood vessels, brain and nervous system, improved insulin sensitivity, and even slowing down the rate at which you age.
All chocolate is made from cacao beans- also known as cocoa beans. Cacao is chocolate.
All the antioxidant value, mineral benefits, neurotransmitter rejuvenating properties, and overall health giving qualities of chocolate are found in original cacao. Chocolate consists of just one ingredient- no sugar, no dairy, no chemicals- that one ingredients is cacao. Now here is what i love- the part about the antioxidants!! By now you may be starting to realize that anti-oxidants are a pretty big deal in my world- the more varied sources of antioxidants you get into your daily diet, every day- the less cellular damage, oxidation and ageing will occur.
Cacao contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of any food in the world- so getting the real deal- adding good quality dark chocolate into your regular diet is ideal for optimal health and longevity.
One of the antioxidants in Cacao include Polyphenols – Polyphenols are also found in green tea and have been shown to dramatically lower inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases, also lowering the risk of breast, prostate and throat cancers.
Cacao’s antioxidant rich health benefits are also related to a compound within the bean, called Epicatechin – Epicatechin is thought to help shield your nerve cells from damage, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s.
It is cacao’s alkaloids that work as an aphrodisiac on us humans. The alkaloids of theobromine and phenethylamine increase the brains serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that induces feelings of pleasure and its level is known to increase for the first year of falling in love. Phenethylamine is related to amphetamines, which is a central nervous system stimulant that increases energy. It peaks when you are in love and surges into the brain at the time of an orgasm. Theobromine, the primary alkaloid within Cacao has a mood elevating effect. Tryptophan, is an essential amino acid from which serotonin is formed.
Positive health benefits science suggests are conferred by the cocoa bean:
What to Look for When Selecting Chocolate?
The closer your cocoa is to its natural raw state, the higher its nutritional value. Ideally, your chocolate or cocoa should be consumed raw organic (cacao). When selecting chocolate, you can optimize its nutritional punch by looking for higher cacao- at around 80% and higher and lower sugar content. In general, the darker the chocolate, the higher the cacao. Cacao beans are another great snack idea.