Saint Valentine’s day is coming. Find out all about chocolate!

 

St. Valentine’s Day is coming and today we would like to share with you about one of the most gifted and tasted food during these dates: chocolate, from cocoa: one of the foods with more beneficial properties for our body.

Chocolate is a processed food that comes from the fruit of the cacao. It is composed of cocoa paste, cocoa butter, added sugar and sometimes also milk and / or nuts, etc.

 

Listed below we would like to point out some of the beneficial properties provided by the chocolate to your body:

 

  • Cocoa powder is a high-calorie food, about 255 Kcal / 100g. It contains a high amount of protein, carbohydrates, fiber and fat.
  • It is high in minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and potassium.
  • It enhances satiety.
  • It has a moderate GI (Glycemic Index), which improves insulin resistance and may help patients with controlled diabetes. (Do not exceed the recommended daily dose).
  • The fat in the cocoa butter helps to balance or decrease the cholesterol in our body.
  • Contains Theobromine, a substance that helps our body toning, actives diuresis (to remove more liquid) and stimulates blood circulation.
  • Also, if milk is added to the chocolate, will greatly increase its calcium consumption.
  • Contains folic acid and vitamin B1, both essentials to regulate metabolism.
  • Its flavonoids are substances that prevent oxidation (anti-ageing) and stimulate the natural defenses.
  • Helps lower blood pressure, the “bad” cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.
  • It has an anti-depressing action: their neurotransmitters act to promote the “good humor” thanks to the theobromine, theophylline and anandamide.
  • On the skin has reducing, anti-cellulite, soothing and moisturizing properties and its polyphenols contribute to fat elimination.

 

However, everything can’t be positive. As disadvantages are included that can produce migraines (to sensitive people under this illness), food allergies (especially if they are accompanied with nuts), overweight (especially if it’s consumed the more fat and sugar variants, and is exceeded the recommended daily dose).

The recommended daily intake of chocolate is about 10g per day.

 

We would like also to describe you about the 3 kinds of chocolate you can find in the market:

 

  1. Black chocolate:  Is the result of a mixture of pulp and cocoa butter with sugar (or sweetener). The percentage of cocoa must at least of 50%, currently on the market we can find variants up to 99%.
  2. Milk chocolate: Contains less than 40% of cocoa mass, more milk and sugar (or sweetener).
  3. White Chocolate: This one should not be considered chocolate because it is simply cocoa butter (the fat part) with milk and sugars. This means, does not contain cocoa mass.

 

The chocolate is advised to athletes, children (due to its contribution in calcium and,  high nutritional and energy value), patients with high energy needs, and people with hypertension.

It is not recommended (or great restraint) to overweight and obese people. Its intake should be very sporadic, and preferred in the form of black chocolate with the highest possible percentage of pure cocoa.

 

Now you know more about this food and its beneficial properties for our body.

 

Wish you a happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Cristina Millán

Degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics.

Bachelor degree in Science and Food Technology.

 

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