Why You Should Eat Chocolate

Why You Should Eat Chocolate

Trying to remember all the million things you’re supposed to know for your next test? Eat chocolate! From nutrition to taste, cocoa is one of the richest foods. The main ingredient in cocoa is epicatechin, a flavanoid which protects against cognitive decline. Cognitive decline causes dementia and Alzheimer’s, so consuming epicatechin, a.k.a. chocolate, does the opposite. It is a natural supplement that helps you to remember. It is also found in wine and some fruits and vegetables.
The way epicatechin works is it helps to relax the blood vessels thus improving blood flow. Blood flow is essential for brain health. The brain is incredibly delicate in many ways, so when there is too little or too much blood flow to the brain, the tissue of the brain will either be damaged or die.
Interestingly, this same flavanoid that helps keep your memory also improves your mood. Have some chocolate and you might even feel a bit more positive about finals week looming ahead. The Ephicatechin produces endorphins, known as the “feel good” chemical which is naturally produced in our bodies. Chocolate consumption further encourages this natural occurrence alongside the serotonin it contains.
Serotonin is one of the body’s mood regulators. It is a neurotransmitter primarily based in your intestinal system. This is interesting because there is such a direct connection between the nerves that direct the brain (thoughts, emotion) and what you feed yourself, indicative of the undeniable fact that the food you eat affects every area of your life. An imbalance of serotonin can cause sleep, appetite, and mood problems, and cause dysfunction in learning and memory. As mentioned earlier, epicatechin improves blood flow. Serotonin requires blood flow to work because it travels by being stored in blood platelets and then carried throughout your body. It is amazing to see that out of all the nutrients God decided put in chocolate, he chose these two, and they function perfectly together, increasing the effects of each other. But wait, there’s more. Serotonin is necessary for many cell’s growth, so in order to have healing from injury or breakage throughout the body, serotonin balance is necessary.
With the flu going around, you might be encouraged to know that cocoa is incredibly antioxidant rich. It will build your immunity so your body can fight effectively against getting sick. Another benefit to these antioxidants is that, consumed over time, it increases the sensitivity of your skin to the harmful UV rays in sunlight. Antioxidants also fight free radicals, enemies to your body causing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and even wrinkles. Lastly, these antioxidants in chocolate will lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Now to all of these benefits there is a catch. Raiding the candy box in Miss Tsai’s office of all the M&M’s and snickers to prevent getting sick the next time you feel a cold coming on simply won’t do the trick. The beneficial aspect of chocolate comes from dark chocolate, because the good ingredient in chocolate is cocoa. The positive aspect of chocolate comes to the greatest degree from 65% dark chocolate or more. Milk chocolate candy bars lose the nutrients because the processing it requires eliminates the flavanoids and such. The addition of high sugar content also counteracts the benefits of serotonin.
Many people don’t initially enjoy the taste of dark chocolate, being used to something much sweeter. However, similarly to how eventually coffee drinkers must all realize that coffee is best drunk black, the bitterness of dark chocolate grows on you. Meanwhile though, there are easy ways to get your adequate supply of daily dark chocolate. At every grocery store in the baking section, you can find baking chocolate which is often entirely unsweetened, and up to 100% cocoa. When baking, you could use this instead of chocolate chips, to ease yourself into familiarity with it. You can also break off pieces of baker’s chocolate, or easier yet, buy unsweetened cocoa powder, and the next time you make a smoothie, blend it right in to add a touch of chocolate. You could make a blueberry-chocolate smoothie, or banana chocolate. There is also the option of beginning with dark chocolate bars that contain about 30% of cocoa and move up to the next percentage level with each chocolate purchase.