The Craziest Food Myths Debunked
How is chocolate useful? Debunking myths about the popular dessert
Many adherents of proper nutrition classify sweet as forbidden food, because it can harm the figure and state of the body. Chocolate is often included in the list of desserts, which is considered to be the cause of excess weight, problem skin, diabetes and tooth decay. But, believe me, such judgments are erroneous if we are talking about the right product: natural, not containing flavor enhancers and chemical additives. Together with Anna Berseneva , a nutritionist and nutritionist, we will tell you how to choose good chocolate and how it is good for your body.
Types of chocolate: dark, milk and white
There are three types of dessert: dark, or the so-called bitter chocolate, as well as milk and white. In addition to color and taste, they differ in the ratio of crushed cocoa beans, cocoa butter and powdered sugar in the composition.
Cocoa predominates in dark chocolate, its amount is usually indicated on the package: from 50 to 99%. That is why the taste of the product acquires a slight bitterness, and the color becomes rich and dark. Such chocolate contains a lot of antioxidants and the least amount of sugar - accordingly, it is the most useful. Moreover, it is better to choose the bar that contains more than 70% cocoa. In this case, the dessert is made from good quality beans, otherwise it tastes slightly sour.
Milk chocolate has less cocoa, but milk fat is used in the form of cream or powder. Thanks to him, the bar acquires a soft, delicate taste and is especially liked by children, however, it does not differ in useful properties.
Anna: Powdered milk is often used in milk chocolate, which has obvious benefits even for children Those who calmly, well digests dairy products, simply do not. That is, milk powder is the empty product from the dairy group. Therefore, I would not recommend milk chocolate with this ingredient to children. There is chocolate with oat milk, coconut milk, and carob - these are the options that have a milder taste. In fact, chocolate, especially for children, is ideal for making yourself at home, using the same powdered coconut milk or oatmeal if you want to make a more delicate creamy taste, as well as cocoa mass and cocoa butter.
In white chocolate the rubbed cocoa beans are not used at all, because of this it turns out so light. The dessert is based on powdered sugar, milk powder and cocoa butter, which has no taste, but has a pleasant smell.
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Which chocolate is best for you?
Of all the listed types, dark chocolate brings the most benefit to the adult human body. But you should also pay close attention to his choice: study the composition in detail and make sure that in it and inAvdu included crushed beans and cocoa butter. Instead, they can put powder, which makes the dessert cheaper and reduces its positive properties, and vegetable oils. For example, palm and coconut - a product with their content cannot be considered real chocolate.
Anna: The most important thing in chocolate is cocoa mass and cocoa butter. These are two ingredients that are of great value to our body: they prevent premature aging and rejuvenate the body at the cellular level. We need to be very careful with healthy or pseudo-healthy foods, pseudo-healthy chocolate. Where cocoa butter substitute or cocoa substitute is written, all of this does not suit us. Better to choose dark chocolate with 80-85% cocoa mass.
In addition, it is important to ensure that the chocolate is free of flavors, dyes, flavor enhancers and odors. Only then can it be called quality. Nevertheless, you should not get carried away with good desserts, because 100 grams of dark chocolate contains more than 500 kcal. Therefore, nutritionists recommend limiting yourself to 30-50 grams per day.
In addition, even good dark chocolate contains sugar. But, according to our expert, it does not harm the body. And if you are confidently determined to exclude this product from the diet, then you should pay attention to alternatives to classic tiles.
Anna: Even if there is regular sugar, then in percentage of content per slice, per serving of chocolate, this is perfectly acceptable. And we will still benefit from the high percentage of cocoa liquor and cocoa butter. So either we choose chocolate with healthy, high-quality alternatives to sugar: carob, coconut sugar, Jerusalem artichoke syrup, erethritis and stevia - they all fit. Or we choose high-quality classic chocolate, but where the content of grated cocoa is high, thanks to which the percentage of sugar is so insignificant that the benefits of cocoa will override it.
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The benefits of good chocolate for the body
If you managed to choose high-quality chocolate and consume it in moderation, then here you can start talking about the benefits of the product for the whole body. The bars really have a lot of positive properties!
Variety of useful substances
Chocolate contains a valuable substance flavanol, which is a natural antioxidant and promotes health. In addition, dark chocolate with 70-90% cocoa contains a sufficient amount of fiber, iron, magnesium, copper and manganese.
Lifts mood and relieves stress
Of course, the taste and smell of chocolate alone can make yousmile, but the tryptophan contained in the dessert does a lot more work. It is an essential amino acid that stimulates the production of serotonin, a natural antidepressant or, as it is called, the hormone of happiness. It turns out that we are not just reaching for chocolate in a stressful situation - this is a completely normal reaction of our body.
In addition, experts from the Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne have found that dark chocolate removes cortisol and catecholamines from the body. These hormones are involved in stress responses. Accordingly, a quality product drowns them out and makes you less susceptible to nervous situations.
Dark chocolate also contains a small amount of caffeine, and its properties are probably known to everyone. A small piece of tile can replace a cup of coffee in the middle of the day and awaken your activity.
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Reduces blood pressure
Researchers The University of Adelaide in Australia has shown that chocolate lowers blood pressure in hypertensive patients by 5%. Probably the reason for this is the flavonoids, which we have already mentioned. These substances stimulate the production of nitric oxide, and this leads to the expansion of blood vessels.
Levels cholesterol levels and prevents thrombosis
Cholesterol is usually divided into harmful and healthy ... The first settles on the walls of blood vessels and arteries, making them narrow and less flexible. And the second one removes the formed plaques from them, blocking the actions of the bad component. So, thanks to flavonoids, dark chocolate can reduce the level of bad cholesterol, increase the amount of good cholesterol and prevent the accumulation of platelets. This effect reduces the risk of blood clots.
Stimulates the brain
This happens, again, thanks to flavonol. According to research from the University of L'Aquila in Italy, dark chocolate improves brain activity, visual perception processes and helps to cope with age-related memory impairments.
Cocoa, like green tea, contains the substance epicatechin. It can help protect the brain from the formation of sticky proteins or amyloid bodies. And they, in turn, develop in Alzheimer's disease.
Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
Consuming cocoa in moderation has a positive effect on heart health. Studies of a number of US medical institutions have shown that the inclusion of chocolate in the diet reduces the likelihood of developing coronary heart disease by 57%. For this, it is enough to eat a small amountdessert five times a week.
Soothes coughing attacks
Good tiles contain the antioxidant theobromine, a substance that suppresses coughing attacks by acting on the vagus nerve. It broadcasts messages from the central nervous system to the brain. Therefore, a couple of squares of dark chocolate may well calm an attack of a nocturnal cough.
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Protects the skin
Consumption of rich chocolate flavonol, protects us from ultraviolet rays. In addition, this beneficial substance improves blood flow in the skin, moisturizes, makes it more elastic and prevents the appearance of wrinkles.
Improves the condition of the gums and teeth
When they say about harm to teeth, they mean white and milk chocolate, which contain a large amount of sugar. On the other hand, dark tiles relieve gum inflammation and protect teeth from caries. Here theobromine enters the process: it protects the enamel and participates in its remineralization.