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Thread: Dark Chocolate

  1. #1
    Senior Member Louise's Avatar
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    Dark Chocolate

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    I admit, I do love a bit of dark chocolate, but there is a way to eat it, land that is to let it melt slowly in your mouth to fully appreciate its rich, spicy flavour.

    This thread will give you all the justification you need to eat chocolate, but before you go rushing in, I must point out, that like anything, moderation really is key. To maximise the health benefits and not cause health problems, you ideally should eat only about 4 small squares a day.

    Chocolate dates back to 2000 BC, the Mayans were the first connoisseurs of chocolate, drinking it as a bitter fermented beverage mixed with spices or wine.
    Dark chocolate is not the same as other chocolate in terms of the effect it has on your body. In fact dark chocolate is known to have positive effects on insulin sensitivity and blood sugar, making it the ideal chocolate choice for diabetics (in small quantities).

    Dark chocolate contains polyphenols, which are naturally occurring antioxidants, these compounds help to protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules. It is these polyphenols which help to improve insulin sensitivity, or how well insulin works in the body.

    Dark chocolate is packed with numerous antioxidants, actually more than those found in green tea! The darker the chocolate the greater the antioxidants, and these antioxidants help to protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are responsible for ageing and disease.
    When we have too many free radicals in our body, they start to attack cells, and this can lead to low grade inflammation and to some diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

    Dark chocolate also contains a compound called theobromine, which is said to reduce inflammation and can help lower blood pressure. Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid compound and acts like a mild stimulant, the higher the cocoa content, the higher the theobromine content, for example 100g of:

    100% cocoa has 2634 mg
    70% cocoa has 802mg
    white chocolate has 0mg

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    The flavonoids in dark chocolate can help to keep your heart healthy, in fact eating small amounts of dark chocolate daily can help to reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 57 percent, the flavonoids help to produce nitric oxide which causes blood vessels to relax and therefore blood pressure to lower.

    I don’t think it comes as any surprise that chocolate makes us happy, it stimulates the neural activities in the brain, which can help to reduce stress and improve our mood.
    There is a suggestion that eating 48g of organic 70% cocoa can increase neuroplasticity in the brain, which can have a positive benefit on memory, cognition and mood. The high levels of flavonoids have also been found to accumulate in the areas of our brain which is responsible for learning and memory.

    Dark chocolate acts as a prebiotic and aids in the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. An increase in good bacteria, helps your body to absorb more nutrients from the food you eat and supports a healthy metabolism.

    Did you know that cocoa is sometimes treated with Alkali or otherwise known as Dutch-processed, to help improve the flavour and appearance. However this method can significantly reduce the flavonoids contained within the dark chocolate.

    Chocolate is sadly not without its dark-side, it is derived from an intensive process of farming, transport and harvesting, often employing less expensive labour, or even child labour. Choosing ‘fair-trade’ labelled chocolate certifies that the chocolate has been manufactured without child labour and at a fair wage.

    Dark chocolate is also skin friendly, it is packed with copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc and phosphorus.


    Copper - Mineral
    - Helps maintain blood volume
    - Produces energy in your cells from carbohydrates
    - Supports the building of strong tissue
    - Involved in the manufacturing of collagen
    - Helps maintain a healthy balance of cholesterol
    - Assists in the prevention of premature ageing
    - Reduces the symptoms of arthritis
    - Maintains eye colour
    - Helps regulate the heart beat
    - Promotes quick wound healing


    Iron - Mineral
    - formation of blood cells
    - Supports healthy muscle function
    - Helps in brain development
    - Helps to regulate body temperature
    - Supports a healthy neurological function
    - Oxygen carrier from one cell to another


    Magnesium - Mineral
    - Helps protein synthesis
    - Supports the nervous system
    - Improves cellular metabolism
    - Regulates heart rhythm
    - Reduces the risk of osteoporosis
    - Reduces eclamptic seizures
    - Helps with muscle relaxation
    - Assists with bone and teeth formation
    - Regulates the body's use of calcium and other minerals
    - Helps maintain structural health of cell membranes
    - Reduces the risk of type two diabetes
    - Reduces the symptoms of asthma


    Manganese - Mineral
    - Supports the formation of healthy bones through absorption of calcium
    - Supports collagen production
    - Helps with the control of blood sugar
    - Contributes to the prevention of oxygen related damage and damage from ultraviolet (UV) light
    - Antioxidant, fights free radical damage. Diets low in manganese have been linked to skin problems and asthma
    - Proper functioning of the thyroid gland
    - Promotes metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.


    Zinc - Mineral
    - Supports a healthy immune system
    - Promotes healthy, clear skin
    - Helps to maintain vision and works well with vitamin A
    - Promotes a healthy male reproduction system
    - Can aid in the prevention of eczema
    - Supports a healthy sense of smell and taste
    - Supports weight loss by suppressing appetite
    - Essential for repair and function of DNA


    Phosphorus - Mineral
    - Maintains healthy cell function
    - Helps in maintaining healthy strong bones
    - Helps to release energy from food
    - Promotes a healthy acid-base balance
    - Helps to facilitate digestion
    - Helps in the synthesis of protein

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    My favourite with cherries or raspberries, a match made in heaven

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    A glass of red wine and some dark chocolate is supposed to help with heart disease my Nan told me, is it true I wonder?

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    Senior Member Louise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florry View Post
    My favourite with cherries or raspberries, a match made in heaven
    your choice packs a perfect punch of antioxidants
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    Senior Member Louise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmine View Post
    A glass of red wine and some dark chocolate is supposed to help with heart disease my Nan told me, is it true I wonder?
    if you choose the right red wine, your Nan is absolutely right! But beware, not all chocolate or wine is made equally! I will be posting a YouTube video up in the next 24 hours which I will link to this thread, and this may explain in more detail about the importance of choosing the right chocolate.
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  6. #6
    I can’t say I like dark chocolate. It just not creamy and tasty.

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    Why is this thread in the grains, nuts and seeds? I’m with you Mummy2two, I just don’t get on with dark chocolate, I like the creamy texture of milk chocolate, although I have to admit Galaxy seems to be more plastic in taste.

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    I put dark chocolate in my homemade curry and it adds a richness to it.

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    I loved this vlog, you don’t think about slave labour when you buy chocolate but it’s good to know that Green and Blacks is fair trade and ethical

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben17 View Post
    I put dark chocolate in my homemade curry and it adds a richness to it.

    Really! That’s a first! I will of course give it a go

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