Chocolate, existing in many forms and shapes and used in many desserts as flavours is almost everybody’s favourite. Chocolate is made from seeds of cocoa tree and cocoa by itself is actually real bitter. The higher percentage of cocoa in chocolate would have a more bitter taste. Which is why, dark chocolate is the most bitter compared to milk chocolate or white chocolate.
Although still debated, a range of potential mechanisms through which cocoa might exert its benefits on cardiovascular health have been proposed, including activation of nitric oxide and antioxidant and anti inflammatory effects (Corti et al., 2009). How do chocolate benefits us in anyway? According to the recent study by Dr. Bujisse, researchers believe that flavanols (a natural compound) in cocoa may be the reason why chocolate seems to be good for people’s blood pressure and heart health.And since there is more cocoa in dark chocolate, dark chocolate may have a greater effect.
According to Buijsse (2010), researchers in Germany followed 19,357 people, aged between 35 and 65, for at least ten years and found that those who ate the most amount of chocolate – an average of 7.5 grams a day – had lower blood pressure and a 39% lower risk of having a heart attack or stroke compared to those who ate the least amount of chocolate – an average of 1.7 grams a day. The difference between the two groups amounts to six grams of chocolate: the equivalent of less than one small square of a 100g bar. But Dr Buijsse warned that it was important people ensured that eating chocolate did not increase their overall intake of calories or reduce their consumption of healthy foods. He said that “Small amounts of chocolate may help to prevent heart disease, but only if it replaces other energy-dense food, such as snacks, in order to keep body weight stable”.
Chocolate in any form or shape has their magnificent power to melt the heart of most girls and almost every kid. My recent addiction is those little treat cups with chocolate mousse and rice crisps of button chocolate to have a little bit of fun while enjoying my chocolate. The Cadbury Buttons is one that has gotten quite a bit of my attention.
There are these little chocolate buttons that could go with or without the dipping chocolate to go with, and the Twix which has this little rice crisps coated with chocolate to go with the dipping chocolate mousse.
The Twix was amazingly fun to eat and each spoonful is with the rice and smooth chocolate mousse.
Eating was really fun except that I would wish that these fun pack products should really provide spoon for us to dig in. That would be so much easier to have it as snack.
The next time when we think of chocolate, we have to think moderate in the scale. Happy eating!
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B. Buijsse, C. Weikert, D. Drogan, M. Bergman, H. Boeing, ’ Chocolate consumption in relation to blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease in German adults’, European Heart Journal (2010),doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehq068.
Corti R, Flammer AJ, Hollenberg NK, Luscher TF, ‘Cocoa and cardiovascular health’, Circulation (2009) Vol.119, pp. 1433-1441.