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        26 Apr 2018, 4:11 pm

        Chocolate: It’s good for you! (Issue 75) by Tiamari

        Theobroma Cacao, the Latin name for chocolate, means “Food of the Gods”.

        Dark chocolate has a long history being used as a healing plant, a mood enhancer, and even an aphrodisiac. So stop feeling guilty and enjoy the benefits!

        BENEFITS

        Here is a list of reasons (without the scientific jargon) to eat more chocolate:

        MOOD:

        Chocolate helps to reduce stress and anxiety. It releases the “feel-good” chemicals in the brain, thus making you feel happy.

        BRAIN:

        Moderate chocolate consumption can reduce the risk of a stroke in high-risk patients, or at least minimize the damage. It helps to keep the brain healthy and reduce memory decline in older people. There is also evidence that chocolate could literally make you smarter!

        SKIN:

        Contrary to popular belief, chocolate does not cause breakouts. Instead, it gives your skin a healthy glow. Also, the Flavonoids found in dark chocolate protect women’s skin from the sun’s UV rays.

        EYES:

        Chocolate strengthens blood flow to the retina and brain, thus improving our eyesight.

        TEETH and BONES:

        Rich in calcium, chocolate is good for your bones.

        WEIGHT:

        Eating chocolate early in the day can help deter cravings for sweets and other unhealthy foods later on. But don't forget to mix in some protein and carbs. It's all about balance. According to recent studies, people who eat chocolate on a regular basis are, on average, actually thinner that those who don’t.

        AGE:

        Harvard researchers found that eating chocolate adds two years to your life expectancy. The antioxidants in chocolate help to slow the aging process, because they neutralize the free radicals that contribute to rapid ageing.

        ENERGY:

        A little dark chocolate might boost oxygen availability during fitness training. It can also help combat chronic fatigue.

        DISEASE PREVENTION:

        Eating chocolate increases insulin sensitivity, which reduces the risk of diabetes. Chocolate also increases blood flow and prevents blood clots, lowering the risk of heart disease. Though high in saturated fats, it does not raise cholesterol, but help to lower “bad” cholesterol instead.

        PROTECTION AGAINST CANCER:

        Cocoa contains a compound called pentameric procyanidin, or pentamer, which disrupts cancer cells’ ability to spread. It is especially effective against colon cancer.

        FETAL HEALTH:

        A 2016 study showed that eating chocolate every day might benefit fetal growth and development. Furthermore, chocolate contains theobromine that prevents preeclampsia, which is a common complication seen in pregnant women.

        MEDICINAL QUALITIES:

        Chocolate has inflammation-modulating properties. Dark Chocolate consists of a chemical theobromine that controls the vagus nerve in our brain that is responsible for a cough. So, next time you have a cough, reach for some good quality chocolate!

        BUT REMEMBER…

        Be smart about your consumption. Choose high-quality chocolate, so you can retain all of its nutritional goodness: fiber, magnesium and antioxidants. The darker the chocolate, the better for your health.

        Catch up on previous articles on www.tiamari.com and www.wuec.co.za

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