Chocolate Health Benefits
and Fun Chocolate Facts

Chocolate health benefits Include having the highest antioxidant and magnesium content of any fruit or nut. 

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals that your body needs to function at its best and most people are deficient in magnesium.

Besides having magnesium, chocolate has some of the best brain chemicals which can give you a feeling of bliss or that "in love feeling"

The benefits of chocolate make it one of the most "fun and tasty" health foods around!  Find out what type of chocolate contains the most health benefits and learn about the benefits of consuming chocolate.

Chocolate Health Benefits -
Highest Amount of Antioxidants

Chocolate or raw cacao beans in particular are one of the world's most antioxidant rich plant foods. 

Cacao beans contain high amounts of flavanoid and polyphenol compounds which include catechin, procyanidin, anthocyanidin, and resveratrol.

In fact, cacao beans have more antioxidant flavonoids than any known food on this planet. 

These antioxidants help protect the body from aging caused by free radicals.  And also reduce blood pressure and improve your circulation.

Cacao bean's array of antioxidants are particularly supportive for cardiovascular health and have blood thinning properties which reduce blood clotting.

Flavanols help to boost the production of nitric oxide which will cause your blood vessels to open and relax.

Fresh cacao beans will be far richer in flavonols than any dark chocolate.  There may be 10,000 mg. per 7 tablespoons and only 500 mg. per 100 grams of dark chocolate according to an article published in the New York Times.

Chocolate Health Benefits
of Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate comes in different strengths or percentages that show how much cacao solids and cacao butter is in each bar. 

The benefits of dark chocolate include having a high amount of antioxidants and this amount increases with every percentage point.

Another one of the benefits of dark chocolate is that it generally contains less sugar.

In general, the sugar content of dark chocolate will get lower and lower as the percentage of dark chocolate gets higher and higher.

Although dark chocolates will not be as high in flavonoids as raw cacao, dark chocolate has quite a bit more antioxidants than milk chocolate or white chocolate.

Also, the more processed the dark chocolate, the lower its antioxidants.  The dark chocolates that were processed with lower temperatures will contain the most antioxidants.

Chocolate Health Benefits
- Beneficial Fatty Acids

Cacao beans can be comprised of up to 55% fat which gives your chocolate that smooth creamy texture.  The fat in cacao beans is called cacao butter. 

Cacao butter is mainly comprised of saturated fats and monounsaturated fat.  It also contains a little bit of essential omega 6 fatty acids.

The monounsaturated fat that's found in cacao butter is called oleic acid.  Olive oil also contains this heart healthy monounsaturated fat. 

The saturated fats that are in the cacao butter of the cacao beans will be made primarily of stearic and palmitic fatty acids.

The saturated fats found in cacaco beans appear to have a neutral effect on cholesterol levels and will not raise cholesterol levels.

You will see the cacao butter come out of the cacao beans during the grinding phase of the chocolate making process.

And the cacao butter will be the most noticeable during the conching phase of the chocolate making process which helps to create a smoother texture in the chocolate.

Be aware that highly-processed chocolates may contain added vegetable oils that may replace some of the chocolate health benefits found in chocolate's fats!

Chocolate Health Benefits
- Highest Magnesium Mineral Content

Chocolate is thought to be an excellent source of the magnesium mineral.  We need magnesium for many of the body's functions such as balancing brain chemistry.

This could be the reason why women seem to crave chocolate more during their menstrual cycles.  Magnesium is also known as the anti-stress mineral.

Magnesium is essential to help your muscles to relax. 

Approximately 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium which is needed for the regulation of your heartbeat and blood pressure.

Cacao beans are very high in potassium and are a good source of calcium.  And it's the highest plant based source of iron.  Cacao is also a good source of sulfur, zinc, and copper.

Fun Chocolate Facts
- Chocolate Affects Neurotransmitters

Chocolate or cacao will contain a sufficient amount of the essential amino acid called tryptophan which is a mood enhancing amino acid.

The amino acid tryptophan is very important for the production of important neurotransmitters like serotonin.

Serotonin helps to protect against the effects of anxiety and helps with stress. 

Be aware that tryptophan is an amino acid that's highly sensitive to heat and  high temperatures.  And will not be found in highly processed chocolate bars. 

Fun Chocolate Facts
- Chocolate Can Open Your Heart

Two fun chocolate facts are that two important brain chemicals are found in chocolate - phenylethylamine and anandamide. 

That's why chocolate acts as an antidepressant.  And it can uplift your spirit as well as open your heart.

It only takes a small quantity of raw cacao to release neurotransmitters like phenylethylamine and anandamine.

Phenylethylamine is present to a large degree in raw chocolate and will be reduced by exposing raw cacao beans to high temperatures.

This is the chemical produced by your body when you fall in love.  It also increases alertness and focus. 

Chocolate also increases the level of anandamide in your brain.  This gives you a feeling of joy and bliss. 

You don't need a lover, just eat some raw chocolate - Just kidding!

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