3 amazing health facts about chocolate

Fact #1

About Cough and Chocolate Poisoning

Cacao seeds contain the substance theobromine, which was discovered in 1841 by the Russian scientist Alexander Vazkresensky. But apart from cacao, the compound is practically nowhere else found /even its Latin name in translation means cacao tree Theobroma Cacao/.

Theobromine belongs to the group of alkaloids. These substances have a strong physiological effect on the body /morphine, nicotine, quinine, caffeine, cocaine, etc./.

In the composition of chocolate, theobromine is usually mistaken for caffeine, since they have a similar structure. The caffeine in cocoa beans itself, contrary to popular belief, is relatively small – from 0.06 to 0.4%.

The results of recent studies show that theobromine is more effective against cough than codeine and, unlike the latter, is not addictive.

The compound is able to decrease the activity of the vagus nerve, which provokes the cough reflex.

Theobromine is toxic, but its content in chocolate is too small to cause poisoning. To be in danger of death, a person must eat 5 kg. chocolate within a day.

If in one day a person consumes 50-100 grams of cocoa powder /0.8-1.5 g. theobromine/, symptoms of poisoning such as excessive sweating and severe headache appear.

But for dogs, chocolate does pose a real threat. Animals absorb theobromine much more slowly than humans /its half-life is about 17.5 hours/.

The alkaloid stimulates the central nervous system and causes the heart muscle to contract more rhythmically. As a result, the following symptoms appear in dogs – diarrhea, vomiting, muscle spasms, convulsions and respiratory abnormalities.

On the National Geographic website, there is a detailed table from which we can calculate the dangerous portion of chocolate for the specific breed of dog.

Fact #2

For the heart and blood vessels

Chocolate can lower blood pressure because it contains flavonols. These compounds increase the level of nitric oxide in the body, as a result of which blood pressure decreases. Although the effect is real, it is barely perceptible as the values ​​drop by 2-3mm. mercury column.

Chocolate can also prevent the development of ischemic heart disease. One of the main factors for worsening the condition of people with this disease is the oxidation of cholesterol.

Low-density lipoproteins, which also contain cholesterol, tend to stick to artery walls. This increases the likelihood of a heart attack and stroke.

Flavonols prevent oxidation processes. According to data from a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it is enough to include 16 grams of dark chocolate in the daily diet to significantly reduce cholesterol oxidation .

Another valuable property of polyphenols – they are able to prevent blood platelets from sticking together, in other words, they are an effective blood thinner.

With a rarer blood composition, the risk of blood clot formation and, accordingly, of heart attacks and strokes is significantly reduced.

The results of a recent study showed that dark chocolate is a strong anti-inflammatory agent for the cardiovascular system.

Fact #3

About diabetes

The myth that chocolate is bad for diabetics is very widespread. But in fact, bitter dark chocolate, in which the content of cocoa beans is not less than 70%, has a low glycemic index.

Therefore, it cannot affect blood sugar levels. It has even been found by a recent study that chocolate is very beneficial for diabetics as the anthocyanins contained in it reduce insulin resistance.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button