Chocolate: The New Super food!

Chocolate: The New Super food!

Chocolate: The New Super food!

Mmmm… chocolate. Can’t you just smell it? Is your mouth watering? If you love the rich taste of chocolate and your fixation has you feeling a bit guilty, here’s good news! Science is proving that chocolate’s more than 300 chemicals have profound health benefits. Consider these…

Chocolate stimulates the secretion of endorphins, producing a pleasurable sensation similar to the “runner’s high” a jogger feels after running several miles.

Chocolate contains a neurotransmitter, serotonin, that acts as an anti-depressant.

Other substances, such as theobromine and phenylethylamine, act as a mood elevator.

Cacao, the source of chocolate, contains antibacterial agents that fight tooth decay. In fact, researchers at the Eastman Dental Center in Rochester, New York, have concluded that milk chocolate is one of the snack foods least likely to contribute to tooth decay, since it contains phosphate and other minerals.

The smell of chocolate may increase theta brain waves, resulting in relaxation (but who wants to just smell it?!)

The cocoa butter in chocolate contains oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fat that may raise good cholesterol.

Drinking a cup of hot chocolate before meals may actually diminish appetite.

Men who eat chocolate live a year longer than those who don’t. (It’s unproven, but I’ll bet that men who share chocolate with women live even longer!)

The flavanoids in chocolate may help keep blood vessels elastic.

Chocolate increases antioxidant levels in the blood.

Mexican healers use chocolate to treat bronchitis and insect bites.
While chocolate may not be the most healthy snack around, it does contain a number of nutrients. High in potassium and magnesium, chocolate also provides us with several vitamins, including B1, B2, D and E. As for calories, no one is going to claim chocolate is the quintessential diet food. Still, the average chocolate bar contains approximately 250 calories – low enough for a dieter to enjoy one as an occasional treat. Besides, indulging your chocolate craving from time to time can help prevent the bingeing that is a dieter’s worst enemy.

So, chocoholics, rejoice! In moderation, chocolate is a super food you can feel good about enjoying.

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