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Chocolates!

with Funke Oshifuye

Everyone loves chocolates but a lot of people are scared about weight gain.

Chocolates can be good for the body, but what type of chocolates? How much chocolates can we take and in what form?

Chocolate and cocoa naturally contain copper, magnesium and potassium, which are vital for good health.

One average dark chocolate bar provides nearly 12 percent of your daily requirement for magnesium, which may be important for people at risk of several chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

Dark chocolate and cocoa are packed with antioxidants that could help fight chronic inflammation of tissues in the circulatory system.

These antioxidants known as polyphenols make up more than 10 percent of the weight of dry raw cocoa beans. Moderate amounts of dark chocolate might also play a role in cancer prevention.

Despite chocolate’s saturated fat content, studies show that eating chocolate has no effect on the level of potentially harmful cholesterol in the blood.

This is because not all saturated fats are created equal. The fat in chocolate comes from cocoa butter, the natural fat found in cocoa beans.

About 36 percent of the fat in the cocoa bean is “good fat” either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat, of which, oleic acid (the fatty acid also abundant in olive oil) makes up the largest proportion.

Of the saturated fat content in cocoa butter, over half comes from stearic acid.

Stearic acid has been shown in numerous studies to have a neutral impact on blood cholesterol. The main reason may be that stearic acid converts from a saturated fat to an unsaturated fat when metabolized in the body

Some forms of chocolate are better for your health than others, and it comes down to one major component of the snack termed flavonoids.

Flavonoids, which are found in the seeds of cocoa plants, from which chocolate is made are antioxidants that are thought to help protect cells against damage that might come from environmental toxins, or simply by-products of vital processes in the body.


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