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The tasty way to great health { Part 2 Health }

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Chocolate has always been an enjoyable part of people’s diet, but before you grab a chocolate candy bar, you should keep in mind that not all chocolate is created equal, particularly when it comes to potential health benefits.

Good Old Cocoa

On Thursday August 2, 2012 Archaeologists confirmed finding traces of 2,500-year-old chocolate on a plate in Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula — suggesting it may have been used as a spice or a condiment. Experts have long believed that Mayans and other pre-Hispanic cultures crushed cacao beans and pods and mixed them with liquids and drank chocolate as a beverage. But this discovery expands that hypothesis and suggests that traditional Mexican dishes, such as mole, may have had their roots in ancient cultures.

Oldest Chocolate

This discovery, announced by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, dates back to 500 B.C., but it’s not the oldest chocolate discovered: beverage vessels have been found to the west of the Yucatán and other sites in Chiapas bearing traces that are 1,000 years older. 

Are People Who Eat Chocolate Smarter?

 Albert Einstein used to eat a three-ounce bar of dark chocolate everyday. Thomas Jefferson had his chocolate imported from France and Spain. Theodore Roosevelt, always had chocolate packed in his steamer trunk for his excursions into the wilderness and it isn’t by coincidence that more chocolate is consumed in California’s Silicon Valley than in any other place in America. If this is all true, then one has to assume that chocolate is “brain food” and the smartest people in the world eat chocolate.

91% Cacao Content

If you are looking for health benefits more than just a pleasurable experience, your best choice is  dark chocolate. The good news is that most major chocolate manufacturers are looking for ways to keep the flavanols (natural occurring antioxidants) in their processed chocolates.

Why Foavanols are so Imported?

Flavanols are the main type of flavonoid found in cocoa and chocolate. In addition to having antioxidant qualities, research shows that flavanols have other potential influences on vascular health, such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and making blood platelets less sticky and able to clot, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Flavanols — are more prevalent in dark chocolate than in milk chocolate or white chocolate.

Good Source of Antioxidants

The antioxidants in dark chocolate provide a range of healthy benefits, such as a higher antioxidants count than fruit juice. According to research published in the February 2011, issue of the "Chemistry Central Journal." Antioxidants protect your organs and tissues from cellular damage caused by free radicals -- this damage can lead to heart disease.  Over the past decade, studies examining the eating patterns of adults and their overall health over the course of several years suggest that those who regularly included chocolate or cocoa products in their diets maintained better cardiovascular health.

Proven New Health Benefits

Chocolate is one of word’s favorite and delicious foods. If you are a chocolate fan, you will jump for joy from theses health news. The new research published in March 2012, in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that people who frequently eat chocolate have lower BMI (Body Mass Index – which is a measurement of height relative to weight). But remember, moderation is the key and you have to balance the extra calories by eating less of other things.

Chocolate for Pleasure

Studies also indicate that chocolate and other cocoa products may help contribute to feelings of wellbeing, which many physicians and nutritionists say are beneficial to your health. Chocolate is a known stimulant and is also thought to be an aphrodisiac. One of the most pleasant effects of eating chocolate is that "great feeling" that many people experience after indulging. Chocolate contains more than 300 known compounds, and scientists have been working on isolating these specific elements and chemical combinations in an attempt to explain some of the more pleasurable effects of consuming chocolate. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants from a group called polyphenols. The antioxidant resveratrol boosts the immune system and provides mental health benefits by increasing levels of endorphins and serotonin in the brain. Endorphins and serotonin work as natural antidepressants by improving moods and general wellness.

Pure perfection - 250 different flavors of chocolate

Did you know ? Choclatique  a privately owned, super-premium quality chocolate company founded in California, by Ed Engoron and Joan Vieweger has created over 250 different flavors of chocolate truffles - the most beautiful and distinctive chocolates in the world.

Final Flourish

Similar to red wine, dark chocolate is a pleasurable addition to any diet. A nibble of chocolate, a sip of wine and cleansing fruit finish result in a crescendo of indulgent flavors for any day dessert. Chosen well, the trio can be sublime. Here’s how to much them up

  • Dark chocolate
  • Fruit: Cherries, oranges, dried cranberries 
  • Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Ruby Port

  • Milk Chocolate
  • Fruit: Raspberries, strawberries
  • Wine: Riesling, Champagne

  • White Chocolate
  • Fruit Apricots, peaches, and Pink lady apples
  • Wine: Chardonnay, Moscato

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