Hardly any other sweet is as popular as chocolate - and the dark version is even healthy! We show seven of their superpowers.
According to statistics, the classic 100 gram dark chocolate bar is the favorite sweet of American citizens . In the race for the highest per capita consumption, the Americans are just behind the residents of the chocolate nation par excellence: Switzerland. We nibble on ten kilos a year, the neighbors even eleven according to figures from 2016!
Chocolate success story: the triumph of the "black gold"
Pioneers in chocolate enjoyment were completely different: the Aztecs invented the first cocoa drink around 3000 years ago and called it Xocolatl, which means "bitter water". Cocoa reached the Spanish royal court from Central America in the 16th century. And from there he conquered all of Europe.
Dark chocolate in particular is beneficial to health
Seductively fragrant, crunchy and finally melt-in-the-mouth - chocolate is undoubtedly simply a balm for the soul. But it can do more than just taste good and comfort people who are lovesick: the plant product is also healthy! Chocolate was even sold in pharmacies until late in the 19th century.
There are now numerous studies that support the health-promoting effect. Important: As always, the dose makes the poison, for the healthy effects, even small amounts of a few pieces up to a chocolate rib daily are enough. And: dark chocolate with a high proportion of phytochemicals is the healthiest . Therefore: the higher the cocoa content, the better!
- (Dark) chocolate puts you in a good mood In the Harry Potter volume "The Prisoner of Azkaban", Professor Lupine gives the title hero chocolate - it is supposed to help against the fearful shock caused by the Dementors. Seems like author JK Rowling was right: Chocolate is a classic among mood-enhancing foods . The reason: If the tryptophan contained in the cocoa content is broken down by the human body, the happiness hormone serotonin is created. This makes us feel calmer and happier. Sweet medicine can also help against stage fright before a performance or a lecture . Only recently did Swiss scientists prove that dark chocolate protects against the health consequences of stress.
- Chocolate substances protect the cells Antioxidants trap free radicals, have anti-inflammatory effects and protect our cells from genetic damage. This relieves the body, helps it to fight off pathogens and slows down the aging process.
- Our brains like candy Since dark chocolate scavenges free radicals, it supports the supply of our brain with oxygen and thus its functions. Further studies have shown that the tasty snack helps maintain cognitive skills throughout old age - which helps protect against diseases such as dementia .
- Dark chocolate helps you lose weight Sure, too much chocolate makes you fat - especially if you eat the wrong one. However, if you nibble at the right table, you can even do your body good. Because cocoa is said to alleviate insulin resistance , which often occurs with overweight and promotes diabetes. However, the cocoa content must be at least 70 percent. A study by the University of Hull in Great Britain also showed that the daily consumption of 45 grams of chocolate with 85 percent cocoa content has a positive effect on fat metabolism. The reason: Polyphenols lower the bad (LDL) and increase the good cholesterol (HDL).
- Plant substances protect the heart and blood vessels So-called flavanols, which are secondary plant substances, are found in cocoa. Laboratory tests have shown that these substances dilate blood vessels, causing blood pressure to drop. According to a British study, flavanols also reduce the risk of heart attacks. Important: the higher the cocoa content, the more pronounced the positive effect. Even small amounts of dark chocolate have an effect on blood pressure.
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