A healthy mind & body needs a healthy relationship with food. However, beginning or developing a balanced relationship with healthy foods, particularly dark chocolate, may significantly impact your overall health. As we celebrate World Chocolate Day on July 7, here is an explainer about the different types of chocolate and their health benefits-
What Exactly is Chocolate?
Chocolate is a powerhouse of health-promoting compounds and micronutrients. It consists of iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, prosperous, and flavanols.
- Dark chocolate contains between 50 and 90 percent cocoa solids, butter, and sugar.
- Milk chocolate is a healthy mix of cocoa butter, cocoa solids, milk, and sugar. Milk chocolate contains 10-50% cocoa solids.
- White chocolate is made entirely of cocoa butter, sugar, and milk and contains no cocoa solids.
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The higher the cocoa content, the more beneficial would be your chocolate. 70% and more is the cacao content you should be looking for a healthy chocolate treat. Chocolate can cause acid reflux and migraines in some people.
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
Cocoa contains flavanols and plant chemicals that may help protect the heart. Of all the chocolates, Dark chocolate has up to 2-3 times the amount of flavanol-rich cocoa solids compared to milk chocolate. Flavonoids are responsible for increased insulin sensitivity which reduces the risk of Diabetes.
Benefits of Eating Dark Chocolate
- Reduces the risk of BP and clotting- Dark chocolates have antioxidants that lower blood pressure and even the risk of clotting. Dark chocolates help increase blood flow, lowering the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease, and might even help lower instances of death due to heart disease.
- Immunity Enhancer- Dark chocolates balance immunity, reduce oxidative stress, and imbalance the free radicals which are the source of many diseases.
- Fights off Diabetes- Epicatechin in the cocoa protects cells and even strengthens them thereby helping the body to use insulin more effectively potentially preventing and combating diseases.
- Improves Brain functionality- Flavanols in dark chocolate improve brain function, and help the body to respond better with memory, awareness time, visual-spatial awareness, and reaction time.
- Help to increase performance in Athletics- The epicatechin in the dark chocolate helps to stimulate brain function, thereby facilitating the nitric oxide in the blood and increasing the level of oxygen intake, assisting the athletes in prolonging their performance in their respective games.
- Stress Reducer-Chocolates are a stress reducer. It helps lower the stress hormone cortisol, which is related to stress levels in the human body. By reducing stress, dark chocolate reduces cardiovascular disease risk.
10 Healthy Ways to Eat Chocolate
- Eggless chocolate brownie – A simple chocolate brownie recipe made with whole wheat flour (atta), sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and oil.
- Eggless chocolate cake Recipe – Delicious, whole wheat chocolate cake recipe (atta). The cake is soft and moist and can serve as a base for various chocolate frostings.
- Muffins with chocolate chips – They are simple eggless chocolate chip muffins made with whole wheat flour (atta). The crumbs and texture are so soft, light, and delicious that no one will guess the muffins are eggless and made with whole wheat flour.
- Homemade Hot Chocolate – Creamy, thick, and rich Hot Chocolate made with cooking (baking) chocolate and milk.
- Eggless chocolate ice cream – A simple recipe for rich, creamy chocolate ice cream. You don’t need an ice cream maker, and you don’t have to beat the ice cream twice or three times; it is done!
- Eggless chocolate lava cake – A simple recipe for a delectable eggless chocolate lava cake. The recipe is straightforward, needing whole wheat flour and cocoa powder.
- Sandwiches with chocolate chips- This chocolate sandwich is a quick and simple sweet snack to make.
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread – A no-fuss, eggless, vegan baking recipe for a quick sweet bread made with whole wheat flour.
- Chocolate Sandesh- It is a chocolate-based variation of Bengal’s famous cottage cheese sweet fudge made with only three ingredients.
- Chocolate marzipan- It is a soft, melt-in-your-mouth marzipan flavored with cashews, chocolate, and coconut. If you like chocolate and cashews, you should try this chocolate marzipan.
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