Chocolate, known as indulgent confection, is a favourite for many. According to existing research documents, chocolate consumption has been popular for a very long time, dating to at least 460 AD.
Chocolate contains many beneficial substances. It is known that 100 gr of chocolate with 70-85% cocoa content contains 11 gr of fibre, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, and other nutrients such as potassium, phosphore, calcium, vitamin K, selenium, caffeine, and theobromine.
Chocolate is not only consumed as food, but can also be used as a medicine or medicine conveyor. The use of chocolate in medicine was pioneered in the Mesoamerican civilisation in mid-1500 AD. It is known that between the 16th and 20th centuries there were research documents that showed the use of chocolates in medicine, such as to induce weight gain in thin patients, as a nerve stimulus, and to improve the digestive system. Other health benefits of chocolate include:
Resisting free radicals
Dark chocolate is known to contain a high amount of two antioxidants: polyphenol and flavonoid. An antioxidant is a substance that can resist free radicals.
Improve the health of the heart
Chocolate also contains a high amount of flavonol, which functions in reducing blood pressure and increasing blood circulation to the heart and the brain. Thus, it can reduce the risk of blood clotting and stroke.
Adjusting the balance of cholesterol
Chocolate can help control cholesterol with its high amount of polyphenol. It is known that consuming dark chocolates for three weeks can increase the amount of HDL or good cholesterol.
Improving cognitive functions
Flavonoid in chocolate can also improve cognitive functions, particularly in the elderly. Chocolate also contains theobromine and caffeine which serve as stimulants to the brain function.
Lowering blood pressure
Researches show that as well as improving the health of the heart and resisting free radicals, flavonol in dark chocolate can lower blood pressure.
Text by Rezky Zakiri
Stock photos from Pixabay.com
- L, Kaltz., David, et all (2015). Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease. 15(10): 2779–2811. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4696435/
- 7 Awesome Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate (2018). https://draxe.com/benefits-of-dark-chocolate/, March 22, 2018.
- 7 Proven Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate (2018). https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate, March 22, 2018.