Cocoa, when take with milk and sugar, forms a highly nutritious beverage and also has a mild stimulatory action due to the theobromine and traces of caffeine that it contains (approximately 2 percent and 0.1 percent of the cocoa powder respectively) in addition to being a pleasant warm drink. It has also been stated that the digestibility of the milk is improved by the presence of the cocoa which helps modify the formation of the milk clot in the stomach.
Although, as stated earlier, chocolate is normally eaten for the pleasure it gives, rather than because it is considered nutritious, it does nevertheless contain a proportion of valuable milk solids, among them butter fat, milk protein, calcium and other minerals and vitamins.
*For futher infoarmation, see related article on nutritious benefits of cocoa and nutritional value of chocolate, cocoa butter and cocoa powder.
GOODNESS OF COCOA
Antioxidant Effect Of Polyphenol In Cocoa:
The health beneficial effect of cocoa bean is mainly attributed to its large amount of polyphenols contents such as flavanoids. The most important compound that is found in cocoa is the flavan-3-ols or also known as catechin. Flavanoids are a group of chemical compounds that demonstrate a strong antioxidative activity.
Chocolate Reduces the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease:
Studies reported that the quantity of antioxidants absorbed from cocoa and chocolate is considerably higher than that from wine, tea and vegetables, and dietary intake of cocoa rich in antioxidant flavanoids may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, morbidity and mortality from coronary heart disease.
Cocoa Increase The Ability to Cope With Stress:
From study on rats, it has been established that administering antioxidants during stress situations and training exercises has a beneficial effect on stamina. The study in Japan has shown that cocoa polyphenol suppresses the change in an emotional behavior under a physical stress and promote the accommodation to the stress.
Cocoa Delay Aging Process:
Aging is another process that is due to the destructive effect of free radicals. Therefore, antioxidant rich diet can play a role in delaying the aging process. Extensive research has been carried out with respect to the aging process and it is assumed that the life expectancy of a healthy human being can be extended by 5 to 10 years by adhering to a well balanced antioxidant rich diet. Another study carried out by the Department of Epidemiotology of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, USA found that chocolate consumers enjoy an average 0.95 added years of life compared to non-consumers. As a plausible explanation for these observations the presence of polyphenols as antioxidants in chocolate was mentioned.
Chocolate is a Nutritious Food:
Chocolate as a major product of cocoa is actually a nutritious product and its nutrient content can contribute to a balance diet.
|Dark chocolate||Milk chocolate|
|Energy||511 kcal||514 kcal|
|Fat||32.3 g||29.0 g|
|Protein||4.1 g||8.1 g|
|Carbohydrate||51.9 g||56.1 g|
|Iron||2.3 mg||0.8 mg|
|Calcium||29.0 mg||233.0 mg|
|Thiamine||0.04 mg||0.09 mg|
|Riboflavin||0.02 mg||0.3 mg|
|Niacin||0.4 mg||0.4 mg|
|Vitamin A||22.0 mg||84.0 mg|