Home Medizin Nutzen Sie die gesundheitlichen Vorteile von Valentinstagsschokolade

Nutzen Sie die gesundheitlichen Vorteile von Valentinstagsschokolade

von NFI Redaktion


Valentine’s Day is here and many couples are celebrating, but for some, chocolate is their one true love. Elvira de Mejia, a professor of food science at the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, is studying the health benefits of dark chocolate, white chocolate, milk chocolate, and even Valentine’s Day chocolate.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, let’s delve into chocolate! What are the healthy compounds in chocolate and how do they act in our bodies?

Chocolate contains more phenolic compounds – particularly flavonoids (flavanols) such as catechin and epicatechin – than any other food. These compounds have very high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in our bodies. As we know, oxidative stress and inflammation are two of the main factors influencing the development of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases. So, the main components of cocoa are responsible for mediating inflammation and oxidative stress.

What are the differences between dark, milk, and white chocolate?

What we call cocoa or cacao is the dry, fully fermented core of the fruit, which is later processed into chocolate. Chocolate is a substance made from the ingredients of cocoa mass, cocoa butter, and a lot of sugar. The cocoa content on chocolate packaging indicates the percentage of cocoa mass. The type of chocolate consumed in the US is mainly milk chocolate, which typically contains only 10 to 12% cocoa mass. Sweet, bittersweet, or dark chocolate should contain at least 35% cocoa mass, as this is where the health benefits begin to be recognized. White chocolate contains only cocoa butter, at least 20% by weight, but no cocoa mass. Therefore, its consumption is less recommended as it does not contain these healthy compounds.

How much chocolate do we need to eat to obtain health benefits?

There are many studies that support the health benefits of chocolate in relation to diabetes, immune response, cardiovascular diseases, lowering high blood pressure, and atherosclerosis. Several of these studies tested the effect of 30 to 50 grams of chocolate per day, but there have been reports of positive health effects in myocardial infarction with just 7.5 grams per day. Other studies claim that consuming one to three servings per month or one to two servings per week can significantly lower the frequency of hospital admissions or deaths due to heart failure, compared to abstaining from chocolate in the diet. However, there are currently no official recommendations for chocolate consumption.

If we consume chocolate for Valentine’s Day, do they contain the same healthy ingredients?

We need to pay attention to the content of sugar and cocoa butter, as they may contain calories and saturated fats. Also, dairy products added to chocolates can reduce the bioavailability of beneficial compounds when proteins and phenolic compounds interact with each other. It’s okay to enjoy chocolates for Valentine’s Day, but in small amounts as part of a balanced diet! Avoid white chocolate or milk chocolate and try to eat dark chocolate whenever possible so you can benefit from the health advantages while having fun and celebrating Valentine’s Day.

Source:

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

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