So my latest miracle pick-me-up (after coffee, of course!) is DARK CHOCOLATE! Not only is it delicious, but has amazing health benefits! Now you can have your chocolate, and eat it too! I do not like overly sweet chocolates, so dark chocolate is really yummy too eat.
Here are just a few of the benefits:
Pain relief: I actually discovered this by accident. I had extreme lady pains and usually only the strongest medication works. I was out of my usual pills, and ate a block of dark chocolate to take my mind of it. Well, a few minutes later, the pain subsided! I tried it again and again, and it works every time! Also great for headaches! I did some research on the internet and a few sites confirmed my belief that dark chocolate works for pain relief.
Blood Pressure: Dark chocolate is rich in minerals such as magnesium and copper, these minerals aid in regulating normal blood pressure and subsequently maintaining proper heartbeat levels.
Stress: Eating a delicious piece of chocolate could possibly reduce stress levels; it works by stimulating the production of endorphin that may give rise to a happy feeling. In addition the dark chocolate variety contains stimulants such as theobromine and caffeine that are major stimulants. (Please note that theobromine is toxic to cats, and thus the reason why you should not feed your cats chocolate!)
Blood circulation: Eating dark chocolate not only relaxes but also makes the blood vessels more flexible. It also boosts the functioning of endothelial cells which line the blood cells. It also decreases the risk posed by innumerable cardiovascular diseases.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels: Dark chocolates have been medically proven to reduce the bad cholesterol level in the human body significantly, up to 10 /12 percentage.
Boosting Immunity: The two kinds of flavonoids present in chocolates are mainly Catechins and Epicatechins. Dark chocolate has more of Catechins, which boosts the human body immune system and possibly preventing major chronic ailments.
Good for Anemic Condition: The flavonoids compounds are useful in treating anemic patients and those having poor dietary habits.
Rich in Antioxidants: Dark chocolate is a potent antioxidant. Reports from National Institute of Food & Nutrition Research in Italy suggests that these antioxidants actually gulp up free moving radicals and other dangerous molecules that may be potential health hazards.
Cures Depression: The serotonin level in the dark chocolates may act as an effective anti-depressant. The dark chocolate contains serotonin, which has the qualities of anti- depressants.
Heart health: Little intake of dark chocolate boosts the vascular health. It contains a lot of poly phenols and anti-oxidants. The anti-oxidants present in dark chocolate also helps fighting against pre mature aging.
One of the most exciting health benefits of dark chocolate is that it helps in enhancing the production of endorphin, which results in generation of feeling of pleasure in human beings.
VERY IMPORTANT: These health benefits are only applicable when you eat “real “dark chocolate. The chocolate should be fair trade, organic, and at least 70 percent cocoa. Avoid additives and “fillings. There are many flavoured dark chocolates by well-known brands that only contains a small amount of cocoa solids, with a lot of added sugar and preservatives.
I recommend the following:
Lindt 85% Dark Chocolate. It is not “organic” or fair trade, but seeing that there is only one organic shop in the whole of Bloemfontein, it is much easier getting it at the nearest Pick n Pay or Checkers. (Retail price is R30.00)
The Cachet Fair for Life Organic Dark Chocolate – 72% is not quite as bitter as the Lindt, but it is delicious! You can get it from http://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za or http://www.greenlove.co.za. Retail price is about R45.00
Honest Raw Chocolate Slab 88% is also an organic brand from online stores. I haven’t tried it myself, but heard only good things about it. It is still on my “to eat” list.
I hope you are inspired to go out and get yourself some dark chocolate today!