Easter Surprise. The beauty within: Easter 2015 may be remembered as the end of the cheap chocolate era as experts unveil the health and beauty benefits of chocolate.
Commodity prices make chocolate a treasure. According to experts, cocoa costs are expected to double by 2020, thanks to its nourishing, embellishing and healing properties.
Costs of and demand for coca is getting higher as the world’s cocoa supplies are running lower, meaning most, eventually, may not be able to afford it.
Medical researchers believe raw, organic, cold-pressed chocolate is composed of the most important vitamins for human health all in one food, with over 88% of antioxidants needed by our bodies.
According to recent statistics: “Currently, the world’s top five cocoa-producing nations are Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, Cameroon and Nigeria, which together account for 70% of global cocoa production each year”.
According to Cargill, a world food, agriculture and financial corporation with 150 years of experience: “Cameroon exports around 200,000 tonnes annually, making it the fourth largest producer of cocoa in the world.”
That pure cocoa is in high demand across the world is due to the fact that the tasty currency –which indeed in some parts of the world used to be a literal currency– has many special properties: it has nourishing, curative, restorative and even beauty-aiding properties.
Chocolate (74% to 92 % cocoa chocolate ), a nutritious food a real and all in one
Chocolate is rarely thought of as a nutritious food but yet it contains flavonoids, chemical compounds holding positive health benefits. Chocolate is a plant-based food, derived from cocoa beans, found within the pod-like fruits of the cacao tree.
Beware! Not all types of chocolate are healthy. But raw, organic, cold-pressed chocolate (with 74% to 92 % of pure cocoa) is believed to be the healthiest food available on the planet!
Cocoa naturally has a very strong, pungent taste, which derives from the flavanols.
The more chocolate is processed, the more flavanols are lost through fermentation, alkalizing or roasting, making most commercial chocolates unhealthy.
Surprise, surprise, chocolate is not as bad as once believed.
The fat in chocolate
The fat in chocolate comes from cocoa butter and is made up of equal amounts of oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil.
Chocolate, beauty’s best kept secret
The consumption of pure chocolate may smooth wrinkles, increase blood flow and help skin look radiant.
Pure chocolate contains the following vitamins:
Vitamin A: essential for healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucous membranes, and skin. It is also vital for the retina.
Ascorbic acid, or Vitamin C: has to be replenished on a daily basis because it repairs and maintains cartilages, bones and teeth, and builds up our collagens (vital to preserve a younger and healthier skin). It also reconstructs scarred tissue, and strengthens tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. It is indispensable in our body’s spontaneous function of healing wounds. As a water-soluble vitamin, any daily residue is excreted from our body via urine.
Magnesium: an indispensable mineral which helps muscles contract and relax. It also charges us with energy, and builds up protein in our bodies.
Zinc: a vitamin which stabilises cell walls, and is necessary in keeping the immune system healthy and robust.
Copper: along with most of the iron attributes, builds up red blood cells and also maintains the immune system, blood vessels, nerves, and healthy bones.
Omega 3: an essential fatty acid that keeps our skin and heart healthy; our bodies require it to maintain optimum health, cell development and function. We have to ingest Omega 3 because our bodies do not produce it naturally. This vitamin reduces inflammation, builds up healthy cells, and balances the brain’s functionality.
Chocolate healing secret properties
According to The British Medical Journal, consuming chocolate could help lower the risk of developing heart disease by one third.
Chocolate may prevent stroke and memory decline. Scientists at Harvard Medical School suggest that drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day may help keep the brain healthy and prevent memory decline in mature people.
Niacinamide (B3): fights high cholesterol, keeps the brain healthy and combats age-related diseases such as Alzheimers. It also keeps a metabolic balance of glucose, amino and fatty acids.
Thiamine (B1): vitamins which assist the body in converting carbohydrates into energy; vital for our heart, muscles and nervous systems.
Riboflavin (B2): the indispensable vitamin that makes red blood cells, and has to be replaced on a daily basis through our diets.
Niacin: one of the most important vitamins of them all: it boosts our High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) or ‘good cholesterol’ by mopping up the Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) or ‘bad cholesterol’.
However, medical studies have shown that, unless under a doctor’s guidance, we should not consume too high an amount of these vitamins and antioxidants as our bodies would not be able to process them. Therefore we should only get most of the vitamins listed above via natural foods, as our bodies are programmed to process most of these nutrients and vitamins.
Chocolate is a powerful ‘super food’ packed with vitamins that help our bodies stay healthy and avoid DNA damage.
Most major chocolate manufacturers may increasingly look for ways to keep the flavanols in their processed chocolates in order to improve its healthy properties.