Chocolate is harvested from the pods and beans of the cocoa tree. After cocoa beans are harvested, an initial stage of fermentation and drying is followed by low temperature roasting to bring out the flavor. Various increasingly complicated manufacturing processes follow, depending on whether the final product is to be solid chocolate or cocoa powder.
White chocolate, a mixture of cocoa butter, milk solids, and sugar, contains no cocoa solids.
Nutrient Content of Chocolate: An ounce of solid chocolate contains about 150 calories and 2 or 3 grams of protein, the original bean also contain a significant amount of vitamin E and B vitamins.
Sweet or semi-sweet chocolate contains between 40% and 53% fat, or cocoa butter. Both cocoa powder and chocolate supply chromium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate:
- Chocolate has a feel good substance. It is the only food source of phenylethylamine, a compound that activates the feel good brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine.
- Chocolate as an aphrodisiac. It is said that chocolate contains a natural substance that stimulate sexual desire. Casanova described hot chocolate as “the elixir of love” and drank it instead of champagne.
- Consuming 2 oz of extra dark chocolate day may help alleviate chronic fatigue symptoms in just eight weeks.
- Eating milk chocolate can significantly improve visual memory, problem-solving skill and reaction time in just 15 minutes. The reason is theobromine, a substance the helps dilates blood vessels, speeding the delivery of oxygen to brain cells. To reap the benefits, enjoy 3 oz. of milk chocolate.
- Chocolate can make your skin glow. This is because the nutrient in chocolate raises blood levels of nitric oxide, increasing micro circulation (the key to a healthy complexion) in one hour. This effect will make skin more radiant in 12 weeks. All it takes is 8oz. of hot cocoa daily.
- Dark chocolate may help trip waist in 2 weeks. This is because the flavanols in chocolate heighten insulin sensitivity, signaling the body to convert sugar into fuel rather than belly fat. The study-backed daily dose: 3.5 oz of dark chocolate.
- Chocolate is rich in phenylethylamine, a naturally occurring compound that has effects similar to those of amphetamine. In certain cases, it can trigger migraine headaches.
- Unsweetened baking chocolate for home use is a concentrated source of caffeine.
“This post was originally published on January 13, 2012 @ 22:28”