Thursday, September 10, 2009

Article 1: Delicious of chocolate

Health Benefits of Chocolate

Mmm...chocolate. The product of the cacao tree has been winning fans since Aztec leader Montezuma introduced the beverage (chocolate candy as we know it didn't appear until the 1800's) to the Spanish conqueror Cortez, who subsequently took it home to Spain. (While the original drink was rather bitter, the Spanish made a few creative innovations - using sugar instead of chilies, and adding cinnamon and vanilla).

What is it that makes chocolate so irresistible? A large part of chocolate's allure, of course, lies in the taste - a deliciously rich concoction that satisfies the most intense craving. But several chemical reactions are also at work. For one thing, chocolate stimulates the secretion of endorphins, producing a pleasureable sensation similar to the "runner's high" a jogger feels after running several miles.

Chocolate also contains a neurotransmitter, serotonin, that acts as an anti-depressant. Other substances, such as theobromine and phenylethylamine, have a stimulating effect. However, the truth is that scientists are still not positive how the over three-hundred chemicals contained in chocolate make us feel so good.

Harmful Effects?
With so much going for it, it's unfortunate that chocolate has developed a bad reputation on the health front. Confirmed chocoholics often worry that indulging their craving will lead to everything from rotting teeth to acne, not to mention the need to lose a few pounds.

Fortunately, scientists are beginning to disprove some common myths about the dangers of eating too much chocolate. For example, it is not true that eating chocolate can cause acne or make it worse. Nor is chocolate the threat to healthy teeth that it was once thought to be. While both cocoa and chocolate contain sugar, they also have properties that work against sugar's tendency to produce the oral bacteria that eventually leads to dental decay. In fact, researchers at the Eastman Dental Center in Rochester, New York, have concluded that milk chocolate is one of the snack foods that is least likely to contribute to tooth decay, since it contains phosphate and other minerals.

Furthermore, 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.

Why is Dark Chocolate Healthy?:

Chocolate is made from plants, which means it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. These benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries). Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body.

Heart Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate:
Dark chocolate is good for your heart. A small bar of it everyday can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well. Two heart health benefits of dark chocolate are:
· Lower Blood Pressure: Studies have shown that consuming a small bar of dark chocolate everyday can reduce blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure.
· Lower Cholesterol: Dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.

Other Benefits of Dark Chocolate:

Chocolate also holds benefits apart from protecting your heart:
· it tastes good
· it stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure
· it contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant
· it contains theobromine, caffeine and other substances which are stimulants

comment: It is a goods new to people who like eat chocolate very much because chocolate have bring benefit to our health. Although like that, we also must control the quantity because it can make us become fat in the future.

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