CHOCOLATES

 

Any true chocolate connoisseur can tell you that this delectable “food of the gods” is good for your mind and your spirit. Researchers—nutritionists, food scientists, nurses and cardiologists—have also demonstrated scientifically that chocolate is good for your body.

Knowledge of chocolate’s benefits is not new. The ancient Aztecs discovered a “divine drink, which builds up resistance and fights fatigue.” A cup of this invaluable, refreshing and nourishing drink, made by crushing the seeds of the Theobroma cacoa tree, permitted a man to walk for a whole day without food. Nutrition researcher, Michael Levine, among others, described chocolate as being the world’s perfect food—chemically speaking

The heart-protecting properties of dark chocolate have been recognized for some time. Numerous dietary intervention studies have demonstrated cardioprotective effects of flavanol-rich foods and beverages. Black tea, green tea, red wine, various fruits and berries, cocoa and cocoa products all contain high concentrations of flavonoids, phenolic phytochemicals, which have been extensively investigated for their chemopreventive and antioxidant capacities.  Flavonoids appear to exert their cardioprotective effects by defending against oxidation, improving endothelial function, reducing the tendency of blood to clot by improving platelet function and decreasing hypertension and reducing the risk of heart disease.  cocoa may have more benefits than teas and red wine because of greater amounts phenolic phytochemicals and a higher antioxidant capacity.

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