Bienfaits du chocolat

The beneficial implications of chocolate on the body

Feb 02, 2024

It is essential to note from the outset that not all chocolates provide the same benefits. Dark chocolate , in particular, offers the most health benefits.

The Chemistry of Chocolate: The Essential Components

Polyphenols are among the most important components of chocolate. They are known for their antioxidant effects, meaning they can neutralize harmful free radicals in your body. The high presence of these components in chocolate helps prevent the oxidation of lipids in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Beyond polyphenols, another essential component of chocolate is magnesium . This mineral plays a crucial role in the functioning of the nervous and muscular systems , as well as in energy production. In addition, magnesium has positive effects on mood by increasing the production of serotonin, also known as the happiness hormone.

Epicatechin , a flavonoid in chocolate. Studies show that epicatechin can improve endothelial function, a key to cardiovascular health. Epicatechin may stimulate the growth of new neurons in the brain, which could have positive effects on memory and learning.

Impacts of chocolate on the neurological system

When it comes to the effects of chocolate on the brain , tryptophan plays a crucial role. It is an amino acid found in chocolate that is converted into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes well-being and happiness . This is why you feel a sense of contentment after eating chocolate.

Chocolate contains small amounts of phenylethylamine (PEA) , which can stimulate the central nervous system to release endorphins, thereby increasing energy and excitement levels. This chemical component can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. In addition to tryptophan and PEA, chocolate also contains a good amount of flavonoids , which are known for their antioxidant and neuroprotective effects.

Research has shown that the flavonoids in chocolate improve blood flow to the brain, improving cognition and memory . They may also reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases due to their antioxidant , anti-inflammatory and vasodilatory properties.

Dark chocolate versus milk chocolate: comparison of health benefits

The choice between dark chocolate and milk chocolate could sometimes be confusing. However, from a nutritional point of view, it is important to know that beyond the taste, the cocoa concentration differs between these two types of chocolate. Dark chocolate contains more cocoa, which gives it several beneficial effects.

Dark chocolate , with its high concentration of cocoa, provides a notable proportion of antioxidants, known as flavonoids. These magical components, very present in cocoa, are associated with protective effects on the cardiovascular system . Flavonoids help regulate blood pressure and prevent the formation of clots.  

Milk chocolate , although lower in cocoa and therefore lower in antioxidants, has other advantages. Notably, it provides a high amount of calcium, promoting healthy bones and teeth. It is often preferred by children for its sweetness and creaminess.

Conclusion

Chocolate , consumed in moderation, offers many benefits to the body . The antioxidants found in dark chocolate help fight cellular damage, while the psychoactive compounds provide benefits to the neurological system.

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