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Monday, February 9, 2009

Chocolate : friend or foe for your health?

Are you the one who has a craving for chocolate? With the endless possibilities of chocolate desserts, candies, and drink available today, it is difficult to resist such templatations. But are you willing to trade the pleasure of eating chocolate for its rumored side effects, including cavities, pimples, and weight gain? You might be glad to learn that, cantrary to popular belief, the right type of chocolate can be your golden ticket to a longer and healthier life.

Chocolate, a bitter-sweet product extracted from cocoa beans, was traced back to the Aztecs in 1100 BCE. Each cocoa bean contains over 380 known chemicals, including the substance that can increase the amount of serotonin or "the love homeone" in our brains. Scientific experiments have shown that chocolate does not cause cavities or pimples, but chocolate overindulgence could lead to obesity. However, chocolate has gained popularity in the scientific community in recent years based on studies indicating that a small daily intake of dark chocolate, which contains 70% or more cocoa powder is its mixture, can prevent heart disease. This is possible because chocolate helps improving blood vessel health, lowering blood pressure, and slowing down platelet clumping. Furthermore, people who regularly enjoy a small amount of chocolate actually live longer than those who never touch sweets. Therefore, this sweet treat not only satisfies your sweet tooth, but a good dose of chocolate therapy is also a great way for you to keep your heart young and to stay young-at-heart, all in one sinfully delicious bite

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