Chocolate: benefit and harm
The main ingredient of chocolate is cocoa, a product whose name translates as "food of the gods".The rich and ancient history of chocolate gives scientists "food for thought" - disputes about the benefits and harm of this delicacy have been going on for many years.Discoverers of cocoa beans were the Mayans.In those distant times, a bitterish drink of elongated fruit of light brown shade was available only to the chosen ones: priests and tribal leaders.That is why he was considered a divine elixir, giving strength and health.
In the 14th century, Mexico was conquered by the Aztecs, who, having tried cocoa beans, also took this food for magic and for a long time considered these fruits a gift of paradise, and chocolate trees were called "paradise".
Interesting! At one time, cocoa beans served as cash equivalents.For 10 pieces of fruit you could buy a rabbit, and for 100 pieces - a slave.
In Europe, chocolate appeared thanks to the traveler Hernando Cortes, who brought it from Mexico in 1527.Cortés showed the Europeans not only the fruits of the chocolate tree themselves, but also taught them how to prepare a "chocolatl" drink, which in translation from Mexican means "bitter water".Initially, the product was treated with great doubt, and some secular ladies were confident that using this "devil's potion" would lead to the birth of a black child.But one day a French chef decided to add sugar to the "chocolatl" and heat it up.In this form, the drink became more in demand and gradually the recipe for hot chocolate was recognized throughout Europe.
In Russia, chocolate first appeared at the royal table in the VIII century.The custom of drinking in the morning a cup of hot delicacy was introduced by Catherine II.Commoners drink was not available until the beginning of the XIX century - it was then that cocoa powder was invented and cheap sugar made from beets appeared.And chocolate in solid form "conquered" the country at the end of the XIX century - in the market began to appear colorfully decorated boxes with sweets from both pure cocoa, and with the addition of various fruits.The most expensive was considered a snack from a piece of pineapple, which was drizzled with chocolate glaze.
Ingredients of black chocolate
Nutritional information 100 g:
- Caloric value: 554 kcal
- Proteins: 9,8 gr
- Fats: 34,7 gr
- Carbohydrates: 50.4 gr
- Dietary fiber: 1.3 g
- Organic acids: 0.5 g
- Water: 1,1 g
- Mono and disaccharides: 47.5 g
- Starch: 2.9 g
- Ash: 2,2 gr
- Saturated fatty acids: 19 g
- Cholesterol: 15 mg
- Calcium352 mg
- Magnesium: 68 mg
- Sodium: 136 mg
- Potassium: 462 mg
- Phosphorus: 309 mg
- Vitamin A: 0.02 mg
- Vitamin PP:0.4 mg
- Beta-carotene: 0.012 mg
- Vitamin A( RE): 22 μg
- Vitamin B1( thiamin): 0.08 mg
- Vitamin B2( riboflavin): 0.45 mg
- Vitamin E(FC): 0,8 mg
- Vitamin PP( Niacin equivalent): 2.6 mg
- Iron: 1.5 mg
Each of the chocolate varieties has its ownvenous structure, texture and volume percentage of cocoa.The method of preparation is also used different.Black( bitter) chocolate is made from cocoa beans and powdered sugar.Experiments with the percentage content of both products give unique taste properties to the ready-made delicacy.So, for example, the higher the content of cocoa( up to 72%), the more intense and natural the taste.It is bitter chocolate that is considered most useful and most appreciated.
Per 100 grams of chocolate, 554 kcal is needed, which gives reason to call the product high-calorie.Black chocolate is rich in micro and macro elements: iron, potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium and phosphorus.In addition, the product contains mono- and disaccharides, organic and fatty acids, starch, tannin and caffeine.Vitamins are part of the chocolate in very small parts.Among them, you can identify vitamin E, B2, B1, PP.
Useful properties of black chocolate
Numerous studies of chocolate have shown that it can safely be called a "healthy product". Dark chocolate can help in the following cases: :
- as a preventive against diabetes;
- as a remedy for stress;
- as a regulator of blood supply to the brain;
- as a stabilizer of cholesterol in the blood;
- as an adjunct to drugs for heart and vascular problems;
- as an immunostaining agent.
In addition, the chocolate bar is an excellent antioxidant, increases vitality and improves mood.Chocolate can normalize the pressure and help the body absorb the sugar contained in other foods.This ability is explained by the content in it of flavonoids - substances that prevent the formation of thrombi and strengthen the cardiovascular system.
In inflammatory processes in the body, chocolate can also benefit.Some Italian scientists claim that the C-reactive protein contained in the product is able to stop the development of inflammation at the initial stage.
Interesting! There is an opinion that chocolate "works" as a rejuvenating agent - it reduces existing wrinkles and prevents the appearance of new ones.And even reduces the risk of skin cancer.
Possible harm of dark chocolate
There are no particular contraindications to chocolate.An exception is an individual intolerance and a children's age of up to 2 years.At kids cocoa can cause allergic reaction, therefore it is necessary to be extremely cautious, entering it in a ration.
Important! Any chocolate is not recommended for people suffering from metabolic disorders and being overweight.However, it is the bitter chocolate in this case is allowed, but not more than 25 grams per day.
Harm can cause a product made of poor quality raw materials.If it has not a bitterish, but a sour taste, then - the technology of its manufacture has been violated.In this case, there is a danger of exacerbation of gastritis and other gastrointestinal diseases.Freshness and quality are key indicators of the safety of dark chocolate.
The use of chocolate in cosmetology
Today many cosmetic companies use this product in the manufacture of shampoos, masks for hair and face, body lotions.Cocoa butter, based on which the funds are made, is rich in antioxidants, which has a beneficial effect on the health of the skin, tones it and tightens it.
How does chocolate work?
- Face masks based on chocolate relieve acne, pigmentation and smooth fine wrinkles.
- Body masks regulate the regeneration of cells, promote the burning of fats and eliminate cellulite.
- Chocolate wrapping gives elasticity, relieves edema and leaves a pleasant golden hue on the skin.
Also, some beauty salons offer customers "chocolate massage", which contributes to the vitality of the whole organism and prevents colds.
It is worth remembering that only for all cosmetic procedures chocolate is used, containing at least 50 percent cocoa!