Health Benefits of Chocolate

Cocoa is the liquid made from the
beans of the Theobroma cacao plant
when it has been processed, this is
called cacao liquor. There are several
choices to using cocoa, you can add
sugar and other ingredients, for
instance adding milk solids create
chocolate either dark chocolate or milk
chocolate. You can use the cocoa
butter which is the fatty part to make
cocoa powder.
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While Australia has no specific food
regulations in relation to chocolate, the
percentage of the ingredients must be
listed. Dark chocolate is usually made
with a higher proportion of cocoa, and
the amount of cocoa will be listed in its
ingredient list. Adding milk solids to
smaller portions of cocoa produces milk
chocolate and once again the
proportions of each will be listed. There
is both national and international debate
regarding white chocolate as it may not
have any cocoa at all, so, can it even be
called chocolate? There are a wide
variety of mixed chocolates and foods
made from chocolate, this is only limited
to your imagination.
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Because chocolate has been
considered simply a confectionery for
most of its existence, we may have a
hard time considering it a healthy food.
However, studies have been published
that suggest cocoa and dark chocolate
can decrease the risk factors of
diseases like diabetes and
cardiovascular disease. The reasoning
behind this may be in the concentration
of polyphenolic compounds, especially
a group of flavonoids called catechins.
Other food rich in flavonoid have also
gained a lot of attention as having the
potential to be heart-healthy, and some
are even being considered as cancer
preventatives to some extent. Green
tea and red wine are two of these foods
that are under great scrutiny and were
both once thought to be unhealthy.
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Thank you.
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