How beneficial is dark chocolate?

How beneficial is dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is preferred by almost everyone, from children to adults, for its rich and sweet taste. Although other chocolates are discouraged due to some harmful aspects, many advise consuming dark chocolate.

How beneficial is dark chocolate?

But how beneficial is it to eat dark chocolate? Let’s find out from Senior Nutritionist Sharifa Akhtar Shammi at Mirpur Islamic Bank Hospital and Diagnostic Center.

Sharifa Akhtar Shammi says chocolate is made from cocoa beans. Chocolate with 70-85% cocoa content is called dark chocolate. Other milk chocolates contain less cocoa and more sugar. But good quality dark chocolate has less sugar and more cocoa. This dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and minerals.

However, it is essential to buy good quality dark chocolate. Eating a moderate amount of dark chocolate, considering the body’s condition, can have several benefits:

  • Dark chocolate contains plenty of active biological compounds that work as antioxidants. Antioxidants boost the body’s immune system, protect cells from damage, and play a role in cancer prevention.
  • Flavanols in cocoa beans of dark chocolate can increase blood flow to the brain. Besides, it helps in brain health and memory.
  • Eating dark chocolate reduces depression. It contains tryptophan, which helps in preventing depression. Besides, it increases the release of dopamine hormone, creating a feeling of pleasure.
  • Dark chocolate enhances the effectiveness of insulin in the body. As a result, glucose absorption improves, and blood glucose levels remain stable.
  • Due to the flavonoids in dark chocolate, blood flow in the body improves, and blood pressure decreases. Therefore, it is quite beneficial for cardiovascular health.
  • Dark chocolate increases good cholesterol levels in the body and reduces bad cholesterol levels.

How much to eat:

However, if someone regularly consumes excessive amounts of dark chocolate, it can be harmful to the body. Dark chocolate contains various minerals such as fiber, magnesium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, along with calories. Therefore, excessive consumption of dark chocolate can lead to weight gain and other health problems.

A healthy individual can easily consume one or two squares of dark chocolate during mid-morning snacks, afternoon snacks, or in children’s lunch boxes. But consuming more than 100 grams of dark chocolate per week is not beneficial for health; rather, it can be harmful.

People suffering from various illnesses should take advice from a doctor or nutritionist before consuming dark chocolate.

Why is chocolate so delicious? Scientists explained the mystery

Chocolate means shiny eyes. You can call it temptation, but love is apt. It’s rare to find someone who doesn’t love chocolate in this world. But what’s in chocolate? Why is it so popular? In the 19th-11th century, cocoa beans entered the human food list. Then the Maya and Aztec civilizations began to make chocolate by grinding cocoa beans. After that, in the mid-18th century, liquid chocolate and sugar were mixed with cocoa butter to make “modern” chocolate in the United Kingdom. Then in 1876, milk chocolate, made by mixing it with milk, became everyone’s favorite.

Scientists say they have long known why chocolate is so popular. Scientists at the University of Leeds in England analyzed the natural ingredients of chocolate. They found that when you put a piece of chocolate in your mouth, it creates a thin layer of fat inside your mouth. This layer creates a soft feeling inside the mouth. Moreover, when various ingredients and granules in chocolate mix, it creates a more intense feeling.

Bersecke says something similar. There are both good and bad aspects to chocolate. It is good to eat in moderation because it contains white sugar and fat. Experts advise against eating more than twice a day. However, the Leeds University team hopes that, based on their research, it is possible to make healthy chocolate. There will be no compromise on the taste of chocolate. And yet, healthy chocolate that even the healthiest gourmet will not complain about, that’s the key.

Chocolates are amazing

After taking a piece of chocolate, what happens, and how it changes—each step has been analyzed separately by scientists at Leeds University. In this analysis, they found that taking chocolate in the mouth creates a soft feeling. The ingredients in chocolate and the red granules released from the salivary gland can create this soft feeling individually or together.

Research Process

Siavash Sultanahmadi led the research on chocolate. The other researchers used an artificial animal for this research. Dark chocolate was chosen for the test. The artificial creature is like a machine but moves like an animal. Human-like it can withstand a certain amount of heat. Its coating is also like that of a human. Dark chocolate affects the artificial animal, the researchers observed.

Siavash said, “We believe that future generations will find chocolate with a taste and sensation that is just like the current chocolate but less fatty.”

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