Surprise Source of Antioxidants: Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate has been shown to have many antioxidants and contain many minerals and vitamins.  It has the same health benefits, if not more, than green tea or even blueberries.  Dark chocolate does contain sugar, so it is to be eaten in moderation.

Cacao Beans

Chocolate comes from cacao beans, also called cocoa beans, that are grown on a cacao tree. This type of tree is an evergreen tree in the Sterculiaceae family. These trees grow deep in tropical regions of the Americas. The seeds from these trees are what are used in making cocoa and chocolate.

The cacao bean contains large amounts of magnesium and sulfur. These are thought to increase a person’s focus and alertness. This bean also contains nutrients that increase happiness. After eating certain nutrients, your brain releases endorphins called phenylthylamine, that rises up mood levels and leave you with good feelings. This endorphin is also released when people are falling in love.

Antioxidants

An antioxidant is a substance that slows down oxidation, or a substance combining with oxygen. Antioxidants also protect cells from any damage from free radicals. Free radicals are free moving oxygen molecules that can cause structural changes in healthy cells. Antioxidants help to prevent this damage.

Scientific studies have been done and scientists believe that plants produce antioxidants naturally. These antioxidants are believed to be produced to help the plants survive in any type of growing elements, harsh or not, and also to aid them in staying strong against any environmental threats that may be out there.

Studies have shown that antioxidants reduce the risk of many different illnesses, such as heart disease or even cancer. These have also been shown to improve cardiovascular health. Blood flow is improved, cholesterol levels are in a healthy range, and blood pressure is reduced.

Theobromine

Theobromine is also found in chocolate.  This is a natural stimulant is closely related to caffeine.  Instead of being an upper like caffeine, theobromine has been shown to stimulate coughing.  This is even used as an herbal alternative to cough medicine.  Even though theobromine has many health benefits, this can be fatal to animals especially cats and dogs, so pet owners are strongly discouraged from feeding any chocolate to their pets.

Dark chocolate is made from the cacao bean that is grown on a cacao tree in the tropical regions of the Americas.  As with all plants, they naturally have minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.  Dark chocolate is no exception. Dark chocolate has been shown to improve moods and increase the feelings of love. It also can help out with cardiovascular health by reducing blood pressure and helping blood flow. Antioxidants in dark chocolate protect the cells from any potential damage or lower the risk of disease. Chocolate does contain large amounts of sugar that if eaten in large quantities, will be harmful to your health. Eating chocolate in small quantities will not only improve your overall health, but will taste great while doing so.

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