what is chocolate?
Clubs of America | May 06, 2015
Chocolate begins as a bean that grows on a tropical tree. The bean is
dried, ground, then blended with milk, sugar and cocoa butter. From
there, it’s morphed into different flavors of chocolate — chocolate
powder, baking cocoa, etc. Since chocolate is plant-based, you shouldn’t
be surprised that some of the health benefits of eating or drinking
chocolate mimic those of other types of produce! (Chocolate is, however,
high in calories and fat, so should be eaten in moderation.) Luckily, just
one ounce of dark chocolate daily (155 calories) is all that’s needed for
you to reap the health benefits!
WHY IS IT GOOD FOR ME? IT PROVIDES PROTECTION because it is high in flavonoids, which are the very compounds that green plants manufacture to protect themselves from disease and damage. Eating chocolate that’s full of flavonoids gives you that same protection. (Note: Cocoa powder is the very best choice for health, as the flavonoids are more concentrated in powder form. Not a fan? Your second best choice is rich, dark chocolate!)
When flavonoid-rich foods are eaten, it is thought they also reduce
inflammation in the arteries that lead to your heart. An article published by
Harvard Medical School stated that American and Swiss researchers found
a possible link between chocolate and reduction in blood clots — the same
clots responsible for tens of thousands of heart attacks and strokes every
year. Among the many additional benefits of this reduced inflammation is
that your blood vessels remain wide open and free-flowing; your good
(LDL) cholesterol level will rise, and many cancers are kept at bay.
CHOCOLATE KEEPS YOU SMART by improving the blood flow not only to your heart but also to your brain. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition stated that participants aged 70+ who regularly consumed chocolate scored higher on cognitive performance tests than their age-experienced counterparts who did not enjoy chocolate. Furthermore, the more chocolate they ate, the higher their scores! A former Professor of Nutrition at Penn State University, Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D., has been quoted as saying, “I have seen other impressive studies that show chocolate flavonoids improve blood flow to the specific parts of the brain that have to do with cognitive function.” At this point in time, that chocolate helps keep us sharp mentally is a well-accepted fact.
AND IT MAKES YOU POPULAR if you share! Your favorite
Chocolate of the Month Club will supply you with all you need . . .