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mind body and spirit
university of california davis
stroke risks
hot cocoa
dark chocolate
phenethylamine
The Amazing Benefits Of Chocolate To Your Mind, Body And Spirit
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The Amazing Benefits Of Chocolate to Your Mind, Body And Spirit

Chocolate has long gotten a bum rap. It makes you fat. It gives you acne. It makes you hyper. But, researchers have not only proven those myths wrong but have also found a number of other incredible health benefits found by those who eat chocolate. However, there are some caveats to those who would think that these health benefits equal free reign to eat chocolate whenever they would like. There are literally hundreds of studies that have shown these benefits and how to incorporate chocolate into a healthy diet.

In the first study, researchers found that those who ate the most chocolate were nearly forty times less likely to develop certain types of cardiovascular disease. And the same study found that the reduction in stroke risks was nearly thirty percent for the chocolate consumers. Chocolate may help in a number of ways within the cardiovascular system. A 2009 study found that people who had just consumed hot cocoa were able to perform complex math calculations faster and with more accuracy than those who did not. The theory was related to the flavonols in chocolate that are believed to improve circulation, including to the brain. Another 2009 study found that those who had survived a heart attack and still consumed chocolate in moderate amounts were less likely to die than those who did not eat any chocolate at all. Researchers in the Department of Nutrition at the University of California Davis confirmed that chocolate not only thinned the blood but also served as an anti-coagulant as effective as baby aspirin.

In a Danish study, people were asked to eat either a small portion of dark chocolate or milk chocolate before a meal. The dark chocolate eaters ate nearly fifteen percent fewer calories and a decreased interest in fatty, salty or sugary foods than those who ate the milk chocolate.

In addition to flavonols, chocolate contains a number of other compounds including phenethylamine which triggers the release of endorphins, the feel good hormones that are associated with falling in love, exercise and other pleasurable activities. It also contains anadamide, which has a similar affect on the brain as marijuana.

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition only one half ounce of dark chocolate is needed for the average person- that person gets the antioxidants and other health benefits without adding too many unnecessary calories. Stick to the dark chocolate with the highest concentration of cocoa- lesser chocolates mean fewer antioxidants and health benefits.


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