Chocolate has a very special place in our hearts. We love to eat it, drink it, cook with it and even use it for facials.
There are plenty of myths and legends around this wonderful product.
Let’s talk about some interesting facts. Why chocolate is so amazing? Are there any reasons why this sweet ‘candy’ can be beneficial to our health?
In this article I will talk mostly about ‘real chocolate’ which is dark one, and which contains cocoa from 70% and higher.
Did you know that chocolate is good for your teeth?
It has antibacterial properties and can prevent the formation of caries (especially a very dark chocolate containing big percentage of cocoa). It contains fluorine which strengthens the teeth and protects them from decay. The bigger is percentage of cocoa in the chocolate, the stronger it’s health’ benefits become. For example, chocolate containing 99% of cocoa can even fight the bacteria.
Friend of our heart.
Yes, it’s true, chocolate is the friend of our health and of our heart! It contains polyphenols and antioxidants that protect our heart. Cocoa contains ‘good fats’ which have favourable affect on our blood cholesterol levels. Dark chocolate contains substances which protect blood vessel’s walls and this way it helps to reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Helper of youth?
Dark chocolate contains a lot of antioxidants, as well as vitamins, such as vitamins A, B, C, D, E (as well as many others) which are very beneficial for our health and youth. For example, the vitamin E helps to slow down the rate of cell’s ageing and oxidation.
Chocolate lifts up one’s mood.
It stimulates endorphin production, which gives us the feeling of pleasure.
Chocolate contains phenylethylamine which can lift up our mood, magnesium which can assist in fighting stress and help feel better and it also contains small amount of cannabinoids (substances from the same family as marijuana contains), but in chocolate the amount of them is very small, therefore, chocolate can’t give us a drug effect, but it can really improve our mood. 😀
Chocolate can be used very efficiently as a facial mask. It’s recommended for people with dry skin, because this mask is very nourishing. To prepare the mask, take 50 grams of dark chocolate (containing 70% of cocoa or higher) and melt it. When this chocolate mass begins to cool down till the room temperature – add one table spoon of olive oil, mix it all up and apply on your face. (It’s important to pay attention to the temperature of this substance, it should be cooled down till the room temperature before you apply it on your face). After 10-15 min, rinse your face thoroughly.
“Choco-mask” will nourish your skin with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. After couple of times of doing this mask the skin becomes more firm, fresh looking and soft. If you have a very fair skin – the chocolate mask can give you slightly bronzed look (be aware of it).
Precautions before using any chocolate facials:
1) It’s not recommended to apply chocolate mask on a hyper sensitive skin, because it can cause allergic skin reactions. Also don’t use this mask if you are allergic to chocolate.
2) It’s not recommended to use chocolate facial if you have very oily skin type, because this mask is very nourishing.
3) When doing chocolate mask, use only pure dark chocolate without add-ons nor flavors; the chocolate should contain, at least, 70% of cocoa or more.
4) Apply chocolate mask only on clean skin.
5) If your skin is very fair, pay attention that chocolate mask can leave slightly darker, sometimes patchy, non-uniform bronzed colour.
Burst of energy.
Chocolate also contains tonic substance, which is very similar to caffeine, it gently stimulates the cardiovascular and nervous systems, causing a burst of energy, but it’s effect is much weaker than that of caffeine, and therefore it’s harmless.
Studies show that people who love and eat chocolate on a regular basis feel happier and almost never suffer from depression.
So, the conclusion is that dark chocolate, being a big exception from all other sweets, is very beneficial to our general wellbeing and health. According to some sources, chocolate also helps boost our immune system and, therefore, prevents a lot of illnesses. Of course, moderation is the key in everything.
Do you love chocolate? Have you ever tried a chocolate mask? Please leave your thoughts and comments in the section below.