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Eating some chocolate could be really good for you – that’s what research says

Although it always makes me smile a little when I see Easter eggs appear in supermarkets for the first time at the end of December, there are few people who don’t look forward to a piece of chocolate every year.

It makes sense that too much chocolate would be harmful to you due to the high fat and sugar content in most products. But what should we make of the common claim that eating chocolate is actually healthy?

Fortunately, there is ample evidence that, under the right circumstances, chocolate can be both good for your heart and good for your state of mind.

In fact, chocolate—or more specifically, cacao, the raw, unrefined bean—is a medical miracle. It contains many different active ingredients that, like drugs or medicines, can cause pharmacological effects in the body.

Compounds that cause neurological effects in the brain must be able to overcome them Blood-brain barrierthe protective shield that prevents harmful substances – such as toxins and bacteria – from entering the sensitive nerve tissue.

One of them is connection Theobromine, which is also found in tea and contributes to its bitter taste. Tea and chocolate also contain caffeine, which theobromine is related to as part of the purine family.

These chemicals, among other things, contribute to chocolate’s addictive nature. They have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and influence the nervous system there. They are therefore referred to as psychoactive Chemicals.

What effects can chocolate have on mood? So, a systematic overview examined a group of studies that examined the feelings and emotions associated with chocolate consumption. Most showed improvements in mood, anxiety, energy and arousal levels.

Some noted the feeling of guilt we may all have felt after drinking too much milk.

Health Benefits of Cocoa

In addition to the brain, there are other organs that could benefit from the medicinal effects of cocoa. For centuries, chocolate has been used as a medicine to treat a long list of diseases including anemia, tuberculosis, gout and even low libido.

These may be false claims, but there is evidence that consuming cocoa has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. Firstly, it can prevent endothelial dysfunction. This process causes the arteries to harden and become overloaded with fatty plaques, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Eating dark chocolate can also lead to a reduction Blood pressureanother risk factor for developing artery disease, and prevent the formation of blood clots that block blood vessels.

Some studies suggest that dark chocolate may be useful in adjusting the ratio High-density lipoprotein cholesterolwhich can help protect the heart.

Others have studied insulin resistance, the phenomenon associated with type 2 diabetes and weight gain. They suggest that the Polyphenols – chemical compounds found in plants – found in foods like chocolate can also cause this improved blood sugar control.

Chocolate toxicity

As much as chocolate may be seen as medicine for some, it can be poison for others.

It is well documented that caffeine and theobromine ingestion is highly toxic to pets. dogs are particularly affected because of their often insatiable appetite and generally no-nonsense nature.

The culprit is often dark chocolate, which can cause restlessness, stiff muscles and even seizures. In certain cases, taking enough of it can cause coma and abnormal, even fatal, heart rhythms.

It has been found that some of the compounds found in chocolate may also have negative effects on humans. Chocolate is a source of oxalates, which, along with calcium, is one of the main components of Kidney stones.

Some clinical groups have advised against eating oxalate-rich foods such as spinach, rhubarb and chocolate for people suffering from recurrent kidney stones.

What should all this mean for our chocolate consumption habits? Science points to a chocolate that has the highest possible cocoa content and a minimum of extras. The potentially harmful effects of chocolate are more related to fat and sugar and can negate any potential benefits.

A daily dose of 20 to 30g of dark or dark chocolate with cocoa levels above 70% – instead of milk chocolate, which contains fewer solids, and white chocolate, which contains none – could result in greater health benefits and a stronger high.

But no matter which chocolate you choose, please do not share it with the dog.

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