The cocoa is a tree from America, which produces a homonym fruit which is used as ingredient to make chocolate. Its use dates back to the time of the Mayans, as well as from the Aztecs to the Incas; Since then it has been used thanks to its wide range of properties and health benefits.
Cocoa has a high index of fats, especially saturated , which are very beneficial for the general health of the organism; it also has carbohydrates, proteins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium , theobromine, caffeine, antioxidants, and water, among other nutrients. One of its best known benefits is the great contribution of energy.
Experts recommend consuming between 40 and 60 grams of cocoa per day , which is equivalent to one or two ounces; in the case of children, consumption may be higher since they have a higher energy expenditure. The best thing is to bet on artisan chocolates, which have at least 60% purity . And it is that, the industrial chocolates use vegetable fats different from those of the cocoa, which kill the own properties of the cocoa; some are just 10% cocoa, while the rest of the formula is sugar.
Benefits of chocolate for the body
Here are the main benefits of chocolate for both physical and mental health.
Strengthens the muscular system
Chocolate is an ingredient that is very rich in magnesium , so it is great for people who do physical exercise regularly. And it is that it provides a lot of energy, at the same time that it strengthens the muscular system .
One of the main properties of chocolate is its high content of antioxidants , such as compound polyphenols. Thus, it notably avoids aging both the skin and the cells, fighting free radicals such as pollution or sunlight.
Reduce the cholesterol
One of the great benefits of chocolate for the general health of the body has to do with the reduction of cholesterol levels , as long as its consumption is moderate. And it is that cocoa has a high percentage of oleic acid, which reduces bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol. Thus, the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction is minimized .
Take care of cardiovascular health
Many experts agree that chocolate is one of the best foods to reduce cardiovascular accidents . Little by little the myth that chocolate is an unhealthy food is being banished, and more and more people are choosing to consume pure cocoa thanks to its extensive benefits.
Although many are unaware of it, the truth is that chocolate has a higher iron content than certain legumes such as beans and lentils . Thus, this is one of its great nutritional values. Therefore, it is a great food to prevent anemia, a disease characterized by low levels of iron in the body.
It helps fight diabetes
Although at the moment it is not 100% confirmed, some studies have indicated that consuming chocolate frequently can help to cope with diabetes . This food is believed to increase insulin sensitivity in the body.
Improves blood circulation
Chocolate has great anticoagulant properties , so it helps to improve blood circulation. One of the most relevant aspects is vision as it favors the flow of blood to the retina. Also the flow of blood that goes to the brain, thus awakening intelligence and improving the capacity of both attention and concentration.
Beyond the physical benefits of chocolate for the health of the body, this food is also very beneficial on a mental level . Its consumption helps to release stress and lift your spirits, providing great well-being.
Benefits of chocolate for the skin
Chocolate is one of the natural ingredients with the greatest number of properties and benefits for the skin. A powerful antioxidant that prevents premature aging of it, thus preventing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, crow’s feet …
One of the main benefits of chocolate for the skin is its moisturizing and softening power ; provides a very soft and velvety texture. In addition, it smooths wrinkles and soothes irritated skin. This natural ingredient also reduces inflammation and dramatically improves blood circulation.
Chocolate also has a great draining action , so it is widely used to fight cellulite effectively.
Best chocolate masks for the skin
If you want to enjoy all the benefits of chocolate for your skin, here are a series of very effective masks.
- Chocolate and almond oil: one of the best homemade masks to deeply hydrate dry skin. You just have to melt the chocolate with two teaspoons of almond oil. Once both ingredients have been mixed, remove the saucepan from the heat. Once the mixture has cooled, it is applied to the skin with the help of a brush. It is left to act for 20 minutes and once the time has elapsed, it is removed with plenty of warm water.
- Chocolate, oatmeal and honey: a 100% natural scrub with chocolate as the main ingredient; it is great for removing dead cells and oxygenating the skin. Preparing this remedy is very simple; you just have to mix cocoa powder with oats, stir, and add a tablespoon of honey. When the homogeneous paste is ready, apply it to the slightly moistened face and leave it to act for 20 minutes. Then, the exfoliating mask is removed with warm water and the face is gently dried.
- Chocolate and sea salt: a very effective relaxing homemade mask that can be applied to both the face and the body. For its preparation you have to mix dark chocolate, milk, a tablespoon of sea salt and three tablespoons of brown sugar; the chocolate is heated for a few minutes in a reicipiente and, when it dissolves, the rest of the ingredients are added. They are all mixed well until they are completely integrated and the mask is applied. Then, it is left to act for a few minutes until it hardens, and it is removed with warm water.
Benefits of chocolate for hair
In addition to the skin and the body as a whole, pure chocolate is also a very interesting natural ingredient for taking care of hair health thanks to its wide range of properties. And it is that it provides essential nutrients that provide great softness and shine to the hair ; it takes on a very soft and velvety texture and, in addition, a radiant and flexible appearance thanks to its high magnesium content.
Another of the great benefits of chocolate in relation to hair has to do with its content in theobromine, a natural stimulant of circulation ; It supplies the necessary oxygen for the tissues of the scalp.
Without a doubt, chocolate is ideal for dry or damaged hair thanks to its moisturizing and nourishing properties. A great option to restore its natural beauty and vitality to the hair after continued use of a hairdryer or iron.
The use of chocolate to care for hair is intended for people with fine hair. In case of oily hair it is not the best option since it contains a high lipid content, so it can be left with an appearance of heaviness and without movement.
Chocolate mask to hydrate hair
A 100% recommended mask to provide deep hydration to the hair , with chocolate as the main ingredient. To prepare it you need: a dark chocolate bar, extra virgin olive oil, and water.
To start with its preparation, first you have to melt the chocolate bar; the simplest thing is to place it in a glass bowl and heat it for a couple of minutes in the microwave. Then a couple of teaspoons of olive oil and a few drops of water are added. The teure should be similar to that of hair dyes.
When the mixture is ready, let it cool for a few minutes. It is applied to damp hair from roots to ends. The scalp is well massaged and left to act for thirty minutes. For the properties of chocolate to penetrate well, it is best to wear a plastic cap. After half an hour, rinse with plenty of warm water, and wash the hair again.
A 100% recommended mask that restores vitality, shine and elasticity to the hair.
The most delicious recipes to enjoy chocolate
If you want to benefit from all the properties of chocolate for both physical and mental health, below we propose a series of recipes with chocolate.
- 4 eggs
- 115 grams of chocolate covering
- 75 grams of butter
- 75 grams of sugar
- 75 grams of flour
- Cocoa powder
Step by step recipe
- Put the chocolate in a bowl and melt in the microwave at low temperature for 15 seconds. The same process is followed with butter. Let it warm.
- Beat the eggs with the sugar in a bowl. Then the melted chocolate and butter are incorporated. all the ingredients are mixed.
- The sifted flour is added, pouring it through a strainer, and stirring until a homogeneous mixture is obtained.
- On the inside, grease some metal flannels with a little butter and sprinkle the cocoa powder, shaking well to cover the entire surface and eliminate the excess. The flaneras are filled with the mixture and they are given a few blows, letting them fall against the table so that they settle well.
- They keep for 12 hours in the fridge. Once the time has elapsed, the coulants are put in the preheated oven at 225º for approximately 8 minutes. They are taken out, unmold, passing a knife around them and served immediately.
dark chocolate mousse
- 200 grams of dark chocolate
- 4 egg yolks
- 75 grams of sugar
- 200 ml milk
- 200 ml de nata
Step by step recipe
- The dark chocolate is melted; It can be done in a double boiler or, more simply, by heating it for a few minutes in the microwave.
- The milk is heated without boiling.
- The egg yolks are beaten with the sugar until they take on a whitish and frothy appearance.
- The mixture of yolks and sugar is added to the milk. Cook for around five minutes over medium heat without coming to a boil.
- The cream is poured on top of the chocolate and stirred until they are integrated into a homogeneous mixture, without lumps.
- It is divided into four casseroles and stored for two hours in the fridge. When serving, add the cream to taste.
Great chocolate myths
In society there are several great myths around chocolate, the vast majority of which are completely false, or have certain nuances that it is advisable to explain. We review them below.
Chocolate makes you fat
Without a doubt, this is one of the most widespread myths about this food. Well, pure cocoa is not fattening ; what causes weight gain is the excess of sugar, dairy and additives that certain varieties have, such as milk chocolate for example. As we have pointed out, experts recommend moderate consumption of pure cocoa. Thus, by taking care of your diet and doing physical exercise frequently, you do not have to increase your weight.
The studies carried out determined that chocolate is not fattening, at least when consumed in reasonable quantities, in fact, it was proven that chocolate could be of great support against obesity. After studying the diets of hundreds of people, they discovered that those who ate chocolate a few times a week were thinner; It should be noted that the healthiest thing in chocolate is the cocoa and not the sugar it contains, so to enjoy all its benefits, the portion to be consumed must be small and of course… dark chocolate.
Chocolate causes cavities
This is something that many of us have heard from our parents during childhood. Well, chocolate itself does not cause cavities; it can only do this if it spends too long in the mouth. That is why it is so important to brush your teeth and maintain proper oral hygiene after every meal.
It is worth noting that dark chocolate and cocoa have components such as fluoride, which help significantly to delay the accumulation of plaque.
Chocolate causes acne
Another of the most popular myths about chocolate is the one that indicates that it causes acne, especially in young people and adolescents. Well, acne develops from excessive oil production , usually due to age-related hormonal changes. Chocolate has nothing to do with it.
Chocolate causes hyperactivity
It is also heard that chocolate causes hyperactivity in the little ones. Well, no study has proven that there is any relationship between the two. Moreover, it is believed that it is the stimulating environment itself that causes this hyperactivity in children; and is that generally they consume chocolate in festive settings, such as a birthday party.
Chocolate is one of the healthiest foods that exist , with a wide selection of benefits for the general health of the body, as well as for hair and skin. As we have indicated, the most important thing is to choose a type of chocolate whose composition of pure cocoa is greater than 60%; otherwise, we only eat sugars and other additives that are not favorable for health.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.