We love it because it does good to our palate. But what we know less is that it also does good for our body and our mood…
Did you know? Cocoa is closely observed by scientists who to date have counted up to 800 molecules present in its composition … The one that the Olmecs, Mayans, and Aztecs called “the Gods’ food” is definitely worth learning more about …
Before chocolate, there is cocoa. The Mayans, the first occupants of Central America (long before the Europeans landed), made a ritual drink to worship the gods they called “chacau haa”. The therapeutic virtues of cocoa butter were then known both as a balm to heal chapped skin and burns, to protect against the heat of the sun or treat the liver and lungs, and as a preventive remedy against snake bites. Later, in South America, cocoa was traditionally used to reduce inflammation in chest pains, and in the 18th century English doctors still prescribed it to treat tuberculosis.. But with the progress of science, it quickly went from food-healer to food-pleasure, while retaining its health benefits.
Cocoa indeed contains a large number of antioxidant substances (flavonoids, catechins, anthocyanins …) which “neutralize” the free radicals responsible for the aging of our cells. If tea is often classified in the column of antioxidant foods, you should know that the antioxidant capacity of cocoa would be 4 to 5 times greater than that of black tea and 2 to 3 times greater than that of green tea.
It is accused of driving up cholesterol levels.
False! The flavonoids (antioxidants) of good quality dark chocolate (more than 70% cocoa), associated with vitamin B3 and vitamins C and E, promote “good” cholesterol(HDL) and tend to decrease the “bad” (LDL). Flavonoids which, associated with cocoa copper, oppose the inflammatory phenomenon and also act against rheumatism, arthritis, bronchitis … Finally, its antioxidants combined with potassium, Magnesium, calcium, and vitamin B that it contains, help lower blood pressure.
This effect has even been proven by Harvard researchers!
WATCH YOUR HEAD!
Cocoa sometimes hurts your head because its theobromine (a kind of natural cocoa caffeine) causes the diameter of the blood vessels to vary, which can cause migraines, but it also does good by boosting mood. It contains magnesium ( anti-stress ), serotonin (a mood regulator), theobromine (a stimulant), which fight against stress and mood swings.
• Excellent antioxidant. Its flavonoids, which are however the same as those of fruits, or tea, have the advantage of degrading and eliminating more slowly. They are therefore active for longer periods of time in the body, so they keep trapping free radicals!
• An important source of copper, cocoa helps the functioning of red blood cells by promoting iron fixation.
• Antistress, it contains several active compounds (theobromine, theophylline, octopamine, magnesium …) which boost the brain and regulate mood.
WHO’S NOT CRAZY ABOUT CHOCOLATE?
In our hearts, chocolate is above all associated with the pleasure of gluttony. Tablets, rocks, bites, bars, candies, powder, spread … In all its forms, chocolate evokes celebrations, convivial moments, but also well-being. Consumers know the benefits of cocoa beans since they spontaneously evoke their energetic and anti-stress properties. Two ways to taste it coexist among the French population:
The gourmet: 32% of consumers ingest all the chocolate they have in an instant (sometimes in just a few seconds!).
And the measured: 56% taste over more than a day the chocolate they keep at home.
Health professionals recommend eating chocolate in measured quantities, mainly for its richness in magnesium. 79% recommend consuming it as a snack and 62% as part of a slimming diet: in fact, chocolate allows you to keep a little touch of pleasure and avoid frustrations.
But beware: there is no question of rushing on the tablet! Two squares a day of chocolate with more than 70% cocoa to get all the benefits, it’s the right dose. Come on, how about crunching a little square?