Chocolate, benefits for health and the brain
The chocolate we like it, we love it, it makes us feel good ... What will chocolate have? Some in some ways and others in others, but as a rule the chocolate it's something that drives us crazy. Is it because of its composition? Is chocolate addictive? Is it a false myth that chocolate gets fat? We give you all the keys about chocolate, its benefits for health and the brain, and we tell you some of its secrets.
The composition of chocolate
The chocolate is made up of 24 percent fat, which come from cocoa butter. A priori, if we only say this, it may seem that the chocolate grows a lot, but this is not true, we must know how to choose the chocolate that benefits us the most.
The cocoa butter contains stearic acid. It is an unsaturated fatty acid that does not increase our blood cholesterol level. Remember that cholesterol is not always bad. There is a good cholesterol and another harmful one. The latter blocks our arteries but the first one cleanses them because it circulates in the opposite direction to the previous one and collects its waste. The chocolate also contains 45 percent carbohydrates. But be careful because it also carries proteins! Keep reading and we'll explain it to you.
Two of the most important elements of chocolate are theobromine and serotonin. The first is a stimulant that works like the caffeine although it is a little softer. The second is a substance that our body produces and that serves to transmit signals between the nerves, so it is usually related to happiness.
The chocolate carries:
- Vitamin A: great for our skin, our bones and mucous membranes
- Vitamin B: important for the metabolism of the proteins that we digest
- Minerals: that provide our cells with energy
- Calcium: to strengthen our bones
- Iron: activates the B vitamins and gives us energy
- Potassium: reduces blood pressure
- Magnesium: decreases fatigue and fatigue
To all these things we also add the folic acid that through chocolate we supply to our body and that is essential for our bones.
Caloric contribution of chocolate
When we speak of chocolate, we refer fundamentally to:
- Chocolate powder as raw material
- Dark chocolate
- Milk chocolate
- White chocolate
- Soluble chocolate or cocoa preparation
Of these types, the one that has more calories per 100 grams is white chocolate because it has more quantity of cocoa butter (about 30 grams of butter per 100 grams of product). It is followed by milk chocolate, black chocolate, soluble chocolate and chocolate as raw material.
But when we choose one of these tempting products, it's not the calories that we have to look at. Sugars and fiber are also important. The most sugar is soluble chocolate, then white, milk chocolate, dark chocolate and finally pure chocolate as raw material. But the latter is not only the one with fewer sugars, but also the one with the most fiber. From these things it is clear that the original chocolate is the healthiest of all. And we see that this is not only because it has fewer calories but because its nutritional properties are also better.
The benefits of chocolate
Among the main benefits of chocolate we can point out:
- It's a great antioxidant (like the avocado)
- Reduces the risk of coronary heart disease
- It decreases the resistance that our body can put on insulin, which regulates the level of sugar we carry in our blood. If we do not accept it or we do not generate it, the sugar accumulates and we tend to get fat, which does not mean that the chocolate is thinning but it does help to regulate those sugars. You have to take into account the fat you carry.
- Protect our liver
- Improves our cognitive ability for being stimulating
Chocolate: how much, how and when?
- It is preferable to choose chocolates that have a cocoa content above 70 percent. When we look at the labeling we have to check that the first ingredient is cocoa and the last ingredient is sugar.
- The recommended amount of daily chocolate is between 20 and 30 grams.
- It is always better to eat chocolate at breakfast. This helps us reduce the anxiety of the rest of the day and makes it easier for us to give up the famous mid-afternoon cravings. Why? Because breakfast is the food that controls ghrelin, which is known as the "voracious hunger hormone".
- It is not advisable to eat chocolate after the main meals because all sugar consumed after these slows down digestion. If we want to eat chocolate throughout the day, it is better as a substitute for some of the secondary meals, such as the mid-morning lunch or the mid-afternoon snack.
- It is important to assess with what we accompany the chocolate. Although we follow the first recommendation and we stay with an 85 percent chocolate for example, it is not worthwhile to accompany it with sugary cookies. Chocolate is always digested more lightly and exercises its functions better when it is not accompanied.
- Excesses are not good, all natural food has nutritional properties if consumed in its proper measure.