Chocolate is Healthy - and good for your figure

The ingredients in cocoa protect the heart, strengthen the brain and psyche, and prevent arthritis. Now a researcher has discovered that chocolate also makes you slim.

The ingredients in cocoa protect the heart, strengthen the brain and psyche, and prevent arthritis. Now a researcher has discovered that chocolate also makes you slim.

E.An American who admits she eats chocolate every day? You can well imagine them. It will be significant, fat, unhealthy. But Beatrice Golomb is anything but that. She looks completely normal, average figure, usual hairstyle, healthy smile.

The researcher from the University of California says, "Chocolate is my favorite vegetable". There is so much good in the devilish candy that it is best to eat a few pieces of it every day.

If Golomb says that, you'll believe her. After all, she has evidence. Together with her team, she examined about 1,000 Americans regarding their diet and health. And contrary to all expectations, it turned out that chocolate lovers are slimmer than people who despise the delicate melt.

Please do not nibble in kilos right away.

Hundreds of studies on the health effects of chocolate and cocoa have appeared in the past few decades. Many give a detailed insight into which ingredients are contained in which variety and whether they are suitable for the body.

There is increasing evidence that the heart, blood vessels, memory, and psyche are strengthened by cocoa. There are even first approaches with which the potential healthy substances can be concentrated in the cocoa beans. But can the sweet sin of vegetables compete?

Beatrice Golomb, the scientist from California, does not want her motto to be understood in all seriousness as a "free ticket for the consumption of chocolate by the kilo." But the regular chocolate eaters are not fat. On the contrary: they are even two to three kilograms lighter than those who refuse to eat chocolate. In the USA, almost only whole milk bars are consumed - and not the lower-calorie dark chocolate.

Ingredients stimulate metabolism.

The study was able to rule out that the American chocolate alcoholics weighed less because they either exercised more or consumed fewer calories overall. Golomb emphasizes, however, that in her investigation, she only examined the frequency of snacking - and not the amounts consumed. One thing is clear; however: Those who eat chocolate every day are less prone to overweight unless they swallow it up in bars.

THE GERMANS AND THEIR DESIRE FOR SWEETS

"Presumably," explains Beatrice Golomb, "the catechins in chocolate stimulate the metabolism." The chocolate ingredients allow the cells to burn more energy. Scientists from the research department of the chocolate manufacturer Hershey's also, unsurprisingly, join Beatrice Golomb's health comparison after a chocolate analysis.

If you believe their measurement results, they proved that dark chocolate contains more antioxidants than various fruits or fruit juices. "Cocoa seeds are a super fruit" was the title of publication in the "Chemistry Central Journal".

Polyphenols and flavonoids are substances that make scientists cheer. They are considered to be antioxidants, i.e., the elements that render radicals in the cells harmless. Free radicals can cause serious illnesses such as heart attacks, arthritis, but also cancer. The radical-defusing flavonoids are also considered to lower blood pressure - and they can also regulate blood sugar. Who would have thought that chocolate of all things would one day become an option in the fight against diabetes?

Dark varieties are healthier.

Mainly responsible for these positive effects are the catechins contained in cocoa, which belong to the flavonoids. They are already known as ingredients in green and black tea and protect the body from stress hormones and can also kill various bacterial strains and prevent inflammation.

However, the catechin content in tea is only a quarter of the value found in dark chocolate. However, this does not automatically mean that chocolate is four times as healthy as tea. But those who treat themselves to drink instead of coffee and chocolate instead of cake at a coffee party are hardly doing anything wrong.

However, nutritionists emphasize that dark chocolate should be the preferred choice. It is healthier than milk chocolate. Because it contains more flavonoids and much less fat and simple sugars. Sugar and fat promote diabetes and obesity.

To the many well-known positive effects of cocoa, Swiss scientists recently added a new one: the team of psychologists from the universities of Zurich and Bern carried out a small study with 65 men. These subjects were allowed to eat either half a bar of dark chocolate or a chocolate placebo that tasted and looked similar but did not contain the typical cocoa flavonoids.

Fewer stress hormones after snacking

Two hours later, the men had to do a bogus job interview, including free speech and mental arithmetic, and all in front of a two-person examination board in white coats. Before and after this test, the scientists measured the amount of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline in the blood of the test subjects and asked them about their subjective perception of stress. Their blood flavonoid level was also determined.

Subjectively, all participants felt stressed to the same extent, but their physical reactions showed considerable differences. The real chocolate eaters had considerably fewer stress hormones, and the higher their flavonoid levels, the more pronounced this effect was.

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Study leader Petra Wirtz suspects that "because of the flavonoids it contains, dark chocolate protects against the physical reaction to stress by blocking the release of stress hormones in the adrenal glands". You do not notice it consciously, but chocolate has a calming effect on the body.

Cocoa increases blood flow to the brain.

Chocolate seems to be very good not only for the psyche but also for the cells in the brain. The English physiologist Ian Macdonald was able to show this by shoving his subjects into a magnetic resonance tomograph. Afterward, his subjects were given a cup of drinking chocolate to have a second MRI recorded on their brain.

Ian Macdonald's clear result: cerebral blood flow was significantly increased after consuming cocoa. This could help "solve certain tasks better and increase vigilance over a short period," says Macdonald. Perhaps this is another explanation for the anti-stress effect demonstrated by the Swiss researchers during a test. Anyone who feels that their brain is working better is more relaxed when taking a test.

Chocolate is also good for your memory. At Columbia University in New York, they tested the extent to which seniors between the ages of 50 and 67 can improve their mind if given 900 milligrams of cocoa flavonoids (equivalent to half a bar of dark chocolate) every day. The result: The "cocoa-coated" test subjects performed significantly better in a test three months after the start of the study. "A participant who had the memory of a typical 60-year-old at the beginning of the study even achieved scores like a 30- or 40-year-old in the end," reports senior author Scott Small.

If the beans lie down after harvesting, they will be even healthier.

Researchers like Emmanuel Afoakwa from the University of Ghana are already working on making cocoa even healthier. Usually, the cocoa pods are opened with a machete and wrapped in banana leaves immediately after harvest. The white pulp ferments in the sun for a good week, after which the seeds are dried, shipped - and roasted in Europe or North America and made into chocolate. Afoakwa, however, let the cocoa pods lie for three, seven, or ten days before he sliced ​​them and started fermentation.

The theory goes that the sweet pulp changes the chemical composition of the beans during the extended storage period. "The pulp helps fermentation and thereby increases the antioxidant effect of the beans - but also improves the taste." After roasting, the researchers analyzed the ingredients.

The flavonoid content was significantly higher in the cocoa beans left behind. If you don't heat the roasting ovens to 120 to 139 degrees Celsius, but only run them to 115 degrees, the flavonoid yield improves again. According to the African researchers, this would also increase the aroma. Allowing them to mature and roasting them gently cost time and money. But the prospect of getting your figure back in shape through well-groomed chocolate consumption should be worth a few euros for many contemporaries. Click Here to Buy Food Packaging Boxes

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