Dark chocolate is a gift that couples choose as a gift for Valentine’s Day. This is not only a gift to convey the feelings of the giver but also a “sweet” gift with many good health benefits. Chocolate is good for the heart and brain, preventing memory loss, obesity … is a great health gift. Therefore, this product is increasingly popular and becoming the favorite food of many people. Please give chocolate to your loved one not just valentin day.
1. What is chocolate?
✅ Chocolate is a food made from the main ingredient of cocoa. Cocoa trees are small, extensively grown that originate from Central America and Mexico, and are then replicated throughout the world in areas with temperatures ranging from 21 to 32 ° C and rainfall of about 2000 mm per year. Cocoa powder used to make chocolate is a pure cocoa without cocoa butter.
✅ Chocolate is rich in colors and flavors, so they also have many different recipes. It could be a different blend of ingredients or a change in temperature and baking time. Here are some of the popular chocolate ingredients:
- Bitter Chocolate: A pure chocolate with a naturally bitter taste of cocoa and a strong smell. Its ingredients include cocoa, sugar, and some other ingredients depending on the manufacturer.
- Dark chocolate: As the name suggests for their color, dark chocolate is the purest form, they are mainly composed of cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and sugar. They usually have a cocoa ratio of 35-90%. Because dark chocolate contains low fat, sugar, and almost no milk, it has a naturally bitter taste, little or no sweetness. The higher the amount of cocoa, the more bitter the taste. Very suitable when mixed with the recipe of baked goods, making sauces, and chocolate drinks …
- Milk chocolate: Brown milk chocolate, usually only contains 10-35% of cocoa content, the rest consists of milk, sugar, and cocoa butter. This gives them a sweet, less bitter taste. This is the most popular of the 3 types of chocolate, suitable for making desserts, candy, drinks …
- White chocolate: In many places, people still consider this ivory or pale yellow chocolate is not chocolate, because in contrast to both dark chocolate and milk they contain 0% cocoa, only including cocoa butter, sugar, and milk powder ingredients make them not bitter. They have a smooth texture and a milky, sweet taste. White chocolate is tender to enjoy with other dishes such as fruits, nuts, savory cakes, coffee …
2. The active ingredient in chocolate
- Cocoa and chocolate powder contains over 300 different chemicals. In particular, there are many active ingredients that have biological effects on the human body and animals, but especially on the brain, nerves, heart …
- Chocolate contains a large amount of caffeine, fat, sugar, flavonoids, minerals … and a significant amount of theobromine – the anti-cough effect is 1.3 times better than codeine without causing any side effects for the cardiovascular and central nervous system and not as addictive as codeine. Moreover, it also contains tryptophan, phenylethylamine – substances that stimulate the pleasure center of humans.
- Cocoa and chocolate contain a large number of phenolic compounds – a group of substances with very strong antioxidant activity. The amount of phenolic in 45g of chocolate is equivalent to 140g of red wine. On the other hand, the other antioxidant content is catechin in 100g of chocolate which is 4 times higher than in 100ml of green tea leaf extract.
3. Dark chocolate health benefits
3.1 Good for Cardiovascular system
✅ Chocolate is made from cocoa beans high in flavanols – antioxidants that work well with the cardiovascular system. The darker the chocolate, the more pure cacao contains and less milk and sugar. Dark chocolate with cocoa content from 70% to 90% is the best type of health. Dr. Murray Mittleman, director of the Boston Heart Research Institute and colleagues, said: “The flavonoid content in dark chocolate helps protect the body from free radicals, helping to reduce the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases such as impairment. heart, hypertension, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, vasodilation. Chocolate is especially good for people with hypertension because it helps lower blood pressure of this object, but for people with normal blood pressure, chocolate does not have the same effect.
✅ Dark chocolate also contains a lot of oleic acids (similar to the fatty acid in olive oil) which has an antioxidant effect, helps reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, increases HDL (good cholesterol) levels, thereby preventing cardiovascular disease and reduce the risk of stroke.
3.2 Good skin
✅ According to a study on subjects using dark chocolate for 12 weeks, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, the flavonoids found in dark chocolate are rich in antioxidants, which increase blood flow to the skin, increase the moisture content of the skin 13%, reduce roughness 30%, while preventing the formation of free radicals generated by UV rays and reduce wrinkle formation by 25% compared to non-users.
✅ Studies have also shown that chocolate is not associated with acne (ie: does not cause acne, nor does it exacerbate existing acne). Additionally, cocoa beans are rich in magnesium, especially useful in stress reduction and helps stimulate the production of an important hormone: Serotonin and Progesterone – effective in reducing acne due to female hormonal disorders and stress.
3.3 Weight loss
✅ Why do you say chocolate has weight-loss effects, I still find it greasy? Indeed, there is a little trick here, when you take a small piece of chocolate 20 minutes before a meal, you can make hormones in the brain that make you feel full, thereby reducing the amount of food you consuming later. Not only that, but the antioxidant compound called Catechins in chocolate can also help burn more calories in the muscles when you exercise.
✅ However, not all chocolate will help you lose weight as you wish. Many types of ingredients, butter, milk, sugar also make the body dizzy weight gain. Therefore, it is necessary to find out which chocolate is good for weight loss. According to research, dark chocolate (bitter chocolate, dark chocolate) is the type with the best weight loss effect. Want to have good health and not lose weight control, you should only add chocolate and morning. The energy that comes with breakfast with chocolate will help maintain the normal functioning of the body.
3.4 Good for pregnant women
✅ Pregnant women who eat chocolate regularly will reduce stress, babies will be happy and smile more than the babies of mothers who do not eat chocolate. According to many studies, when pregnant women eat chocolate supplements, it will prevent many dangerous diseases such as:
- Pre-eclampsia prevention: Pre-eclampsia is one of the leading risks of premature birth in pregnant women. When the mother’s blood pressure is too high, it will lead to convulsions. And convulsions will be very dangerous and can cause coagulation and impaired liver and kidney function. According to a Yale study of 2,500 pregnant women, people who eat dark chocolate daily have a 50% lower risk of pre-eclampsia. The reason is that theobromine in dark chocolate has the ability to regulate the mother’s blood pressure.
- Help mothers and babies become happier: There are many pregnant women who regularly eat chocolate and supplement the appropriate amount of chocolate during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to happy and active babies. This study also shows that eating chocolate during pregnancy will help mothers reduce stress.
- Strengthen the immune system: The antioxidants in chocolate work to help increase the body’s resistance, improve the immune system, help fight cancer, and support the cardiovascular system.
However, pregnant women when using chocolate should pay attention to the following :
- Use dark chocolate: Compared to milk chocolate, dark chocolate contains more nutrients that are good for the body. It contains more than 600 essential compounds including magnesium, antioxidants, iron, and theobromine. In addition, the flavonoids in dark chocolate increase the benefits of vitamin C, support vascular function, and help lower blood pressure. Do not choose sugary chocolate or milk because it can cause uncontrolled weight gain and gestational diabetes.
- Chocolate also contains a small amount of caffeine. Because if pregnant mothers eat too much chocolate every day, the amount of caffeine per day will increase very high. The accumulation of too much caffeine will interfere with the activities in the body, especially the nervous system. And so will cause a lot of danger for women during pregnancy, especially in the first 3 months of pregnancy.
3.5 Prevent diabetes
✅ Several studies have shown that cocoa in chocolate has the ability to improve insulin sensitivity. Therefore, eating chocolate in moderation can help blood sugar included in cells more easily through insulin, which makes blood sugar improved. Here are some effects of chocolate on diabetics:
- Chocolate helps reduce insulin resistance: Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas which is used to convert blood sugar into cells and burn into energy, which helps the body function. Diabetes is caused by the body producing too little insulin, not even producing insulin or using it properly. Dark chocolate with 70% cocoa content has been shown to be effective in reducing the body’s insulin resistance, making blood sugar metabolism more convenient. Eating chocolate in the right dosage helps diabetics improve health. Healthy people who eat chocolate in the right way and the right amount can also prevent diabetes.
- Chocolate reduces hypertension: Flavonoids in chocolate work in both the prevention and control of hypertension if used in moderate doses. This helps limit many dangerous complications of diabetes.
- Improving immune function: Diabetes reduces the body’s immunity, leading to the gradual destruction of organs in the body. Dark chocolate is rich in polyphenols and flavanoids, two plant-derived compounds that act as an antioxidant to help improve immune function, a number of diseases related to inflammation and infections.
3.6 Keep the mind refreshed
✅ Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), a chemical the brain makes when you are happy and happy, such as when you are in love. PEA encourages the brain to release endorphins that bring happiness and happiness. Flavanol is a nutrient that can reduce dementia in the elderly and beneficial anti-inflammatory substances in the treatment of brain injuries. Both are found in dark chocolate.
4. Recommended for you :
🎁 Famous chocolate brands
1️⃣ Ghiardelli is famous as a chocolate manufacturing company in America. Ghiardelli is considered a chocolate brand that has earned the trust of customers and is stable throughout a long time.
Ghiardelli is one of the few companies in the US that controls almost the entire process of chocolate production. The sweetness that comes from this brand’s chocolate products will surely be a great gift for couples on Valentine’s Day.
2️⃣ Lindt & Spugli chocolate brand: Switzerland is a country with many mountains and plateaus. Although there is no land for cocoa, it is surprising that this is one of the world’s leading chocolate producers. The Swiss loved chocolate so much that they created an association to produce and export this candy. Nowhere does chocolate taste as good as in Zurich. In which Lindt & Spugli is a famous chocolate brand in this country.
🎁 Navitas Organics Cacao Powder
✅ Navitas Organics bringing you super-simple, super-nutritious superfoods give you the energy you need to live each day to the fullest. All Navitas products are USDA Organic & Non-GMO certified. Make sure food is not only nutritious but also safe and really good for health.
✅ Navitas Organics Cacao Powder is made from unroasted and cold-pressed organic, Fairtrade cacao beans—the best quality cacao to help your body thrive! Nutrient-rich alternative to regular cocoa powder: Provides 25% DV magnesium, 10% DV iron, 18% DV fiber and 700mg antioxidants (flavanols) per serving. Directions: Simply swap 1:1 with unsweetened cocoa powder! Delicious in smoothies, hot cocoa, brownies, cakes, and more.