Almost everyone loves chocolate. This is one of the most popular sweets in the world and has been for centuries. But is chocolate good for health? Is chocolate a health food?
Chocolate comes from the Cacao plants, the beans of these plants are called cocoa (cacao) beans. After processing these beans we get the chocolate. First of all we get the coco and then the component of those beans has the fat content that’s called the coco powder. Adding sugar to the processed coco beans you get the chocolate. If we use only coco powder without adding any coco in it and add milk & sugar then you get the white chocolate.
Health facts of chocolate:
You may have heard that chocolate contains antioxidants and other minerals, so it’s good for you and you can eat it- but remember that’s only true about dark chocolate. Milk chocolate doesn’t have any antioxidants at all.
When we talk about the health benefits of the chocolate, we must remember it’s the coco that has got all the benefits. So you need a chocolate that has higher percentage of coco in it and low percentage of sugar. Anyone who likes or loves candy bars, well, this is a bitter truth. You can get health benefits of chocolate and that only from dark chocolate.
Coco does have antioxidants it and that’s why it’s good. As we know, antioxidants fight cell damage, combat stress etc. therefore we certainly need antioxidants. But if you are eating chocolate for getting those antioxidants then it’s has to be dark chocolate. Dark chocolates are rich in cell-protecting antioxidants — natural compounds found in fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts.
Dark chocolate does also have some minerals in it. Such as magnesium, copper iron and zinc. These minerals are good for us and we can find these in chocolate. Also, dark chocolate and cocoa are rich in flavanols, plant-based antioxidants that studies show may improve blood flow and keep vessels healthy.
Along with the advantages of chocolate, you should also know the disadvantages of it.
Chocolate is very addictive. Because it has got many addictive contains in it. Like sugar- a lot of people are addictive to sugar. Then caffeine- and everyone knows about the caffeine addiction very well. Last but very important, chocolate does contain a substance called theobromine. Theobromine is deadly to many animals like horses, dogs, cats etc. Humans have the ability to metabolise and eliminate the theobromine much better than animals. So it’s not deadly for us. But theobromine can be dangerous for your pets. A little bit of it can make them sick and too much of it actually can make them die. Don’t give chocolate to your pets or any animals for that matter.
Chocolate is a high calorie food. With fats and sugar you are getting a lot of calories but not getting any fibre, enzymes or vitamins. If you consume an average chocolate bar that contains about 220 calories; now if you consume the same amount of calories from the fruits, with all the calories you’ll get fiber, enzymes, vitamins, minerals minus all other bad or harmful properties that chocolate contains. So you can see eating fruits are a much better choice. Although chocolate has some good properties but you cannot say it’s a real health food.
In the end, I wouldn’t say that you should eliminate chocolate from your diet because of its fewer good qualities and more bad qualities but you should eat chocolate in moderation. And never eat chocolate assuming it’s a health food.