Read on to find out the health benefits of chocolate and why it is considered the “No. 1 longevity food in the world”.
Did You Know that the world’s most incredibly sweet, decadent and satisfying food is actually good for you? Once considered the “bad guy” in the world of food, chocolate has turned into a national health-food phenomenon.
Chocolate is formed out of raw cacao seeds, the product of a fruit grown on the cacao tree (theobroma cacao). Cacao trees are exotic — growing naturally in the shade of tropical rainforests in South America and the West Indies.
According to researchers, “The raw cacao bean is one of nature’s most fantastic superfoods due to its mineral content and wide array of unique properties.”
No wonder experts like nutritionist David Wolfe, author of Naked Chocolate, are extolling the benefits of the world’s most popular comfort food.
Health Benefits of Chocolate Are Far-Reaching
Chocolate is good for sufferers of asthma, as it contains the anti-asthmatic compounds theobromine and theyophilline.
Cocoa, a component of chocolate, contains flavonels, antioxidants that increase blood flow to the brain.
Cacao also contains high levels of sulfur and magnesium, increasing your focus and alertness.
Chocolate can actually make you happier, longer. That’s because cacao enhances the amount of time the happiness-inducing compound anandamide stays in your system.
Chocolate decreases your anxiety and stress levels. A clinical trial demonstrated that dark chocolate reduced the production of stress hormones in as little as two weeks!
Chocolate is good for your teeth; the theobromine compound contained in chocolate kills the bacteria that cause cavities.
Chocolate contains zinc, a key mineral that contributes to the health of your immune system, liver, pancreas and skin.
Chocolate ensures your blood stays healthy, as it contains the key mineral copper.
Chocolate is considered by many nutritionists to be the best food for your heart. A study conducted by the German Institute of Human Nutrition found that chocolate consumption lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, in part due to chocolate’s ability to reduce blood pressure.
In addition, in a 15-year study involving men ages 65 and older, scientists studied the eating and exercising habits of 470 men, tracking their chocolate intake as well. Their results?
“The men in the group that consumed the least cocoa were twice as likely to die from a heart attack as those in the group that consumed the most cocoa.” Additionally, “Men in the study who consumed the most cocoa were less likely to die of any cause.”
Just because the health benefits of chocolate are numerous, this doesn’t mean you should indulge in the rich, calorific, sugar-laden chocolates that are widely available. Many commercial chocolate bars contain ingredients such as refined sugar or unhealthy sweeteners, trans fatty acids and artificial flavors.
The Key to Gaining The Most Health Benefits From Chocolate Is to Make Sure It Is…
- Dark (as opposed to milk chocolate)
- Stone-ground and/or cold-processed…with a minimum of additives that can negate the health benefits from chocolate.
Such chocolates are available at raw-food and natural-food stores, as well as online chocolate retailers like Sacred Chocolate.