Desislava Bozhkova: Dark chocolate reduces the risk of a heart attack

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Desislava Bozhkova: Dark chocolate reduces the risk of a heart attack
Desislava Bozhkova: Dark chocolate reduces the risk of a heart attack

On July 11, we celebrated World Chocolate Day - one of the tastiest and sweetest holidays of the year. The birthplace of the sweet temptation, according to legend, is South America - the Spanish conquerors, who first brought chocolate to Europe, called it "black gold". World Chocolate Day is a young holiday invented by the French and first celebrated in 1995

Then Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Bulgaria and other countries join the celebration. Today it is celebrated in many countries around the world, and its popularity continues to grow.

In Switzerland, on this day they ride a "chocolate train", and in Belgium they visit a real chocolate museum. In Germany, they built an entire Chocolateland, a separate world in which a sweet show is organized for visitors every day.

Americans love chocolate so much that they celebrate the holiday twice a year.

And how does it affect our he alth if we indulge in the sweet temptation of chocolate? Is chocolate good or bad? On this "sweet" topic, inspired by the World Chocolate Day, we sought for a conversation Desislava Bozhkova, master pharmacist.

Mrs. Bozhkova, is chocolate good or bad for he alth?

- There is hardly a person who does not know that eating and overdoing chocolate is really harmful and dangerous to he alth. This is a proven fact when we talk about regular chocolate and completely wrong if we talk about natural (dark) chocolate.

Milk chocolate satisfies the requirements of our taste, it's sweet, melts in your mouth and you just can't resist it. However, the problems it brings are many. Children, and even adults, who abuse this chocolate, increase the risk of obesity, caries, heart problems, and most importantly, the level of insulin in the blood changes.

What gifts does dark chocolate hide in itself for our he alth?

- What simpler way to start the day perfectly than a piece of melt-in-your-mouth dark chocolate, accepted with pleasure and gratitude that someone created such perfection?

Dark chocolate is celebrated as one of the he althy foods with a proven antioxidant and antidepressant effect. It is made from cocoa mass (the dry part of the cocoa bean) and cocoa butter. Cocoa mass is rich in bioflavonoids, which are plant antioxidants and neutralize free radicals in our body. We definitely don't need the latter if we want to be he althy, beautiful and smiling…

What is the connection between smile and chocolate?

- How many people today in everyday life manage to smile from the heart, not by force, not by obligation? Smiling so that the eyes shine! If you do not dare to admit to yourself that you are one of them, I reassure you that there is a solution! And this is the second unique effect of the black gold called chocolate - its ability to make us happy and euphoric. This is due to the amino acid tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin and is found in chocolate. Stress, difficulties in our daily lives and problems lead to its faster breakdown, and its deficiency is to blame for feeling depressed and dissatisfied with life. By eating a bar or two of dark chocolate, we get the necessary amount of vital energy and good self-esteem, thanks to an increase in serotonin in the blood.

Chocolate also stimulates the production of endorphins, known as happiness hormones, which our body normally produces during truly pleasant experiences, for example during sex. They make us feel happy.

Does dark chocolate also contain saturated fat? Are they dangerous?

- The saturated fat in dark chocolate is not the same as that in hamburger or whole milk. They are stearic acid, which is converted in the body to oleic, a heart-safe monounsaturated fatty acid. Dark chocolate also reduces stress hormone levels.

Can we have unlimited dark chocolate?

- It is not preferable to consume large amounts of dark chocolate because high doses of caffeine increase the heart rate, this supplies the myocardium with less oxygen and makes us short of breath. As they say "too much of anything is bad". So, let's not go to extremes. Theobromine is an alkaloid with a bitter taste, belongs to the purine group, has similar properties to caffeine and acts as a vasodilator, diuretic and heart stimulant.

Doesn't dark chocolate harm the teeth or the pounds?

- In natural dark chocolate, the higher the cocoa mass content, the less refined white sugar. This is wonderful, because we avoid dental caries and a sharp rise in blood sugar, excess weight gain and the so-called "wolf" hunger. Real dark chocolate is c

over 60% cocoa mass content

In addition, research shows that people who consume chocolate rich in flavins, ie. dark chocolate, have he althier and more hydrated skin, are less sensitive to the sun and have 25% less redness on their skin.

Is dark chocolate also suitable for children?

- Not particularly suitable for children due to its highly energizing effect. Dark chocolate makes children especially violent, sometimes even aggressive. Chocolates with about 25% cocoa content, with more sugar and milk, have been created for them.

And let me end with positivity. Real chocolate is for connoisseurs! Don't settle for less than that!

What other useful substances are contained in dark chocolate?

Chocolate also contains caffeine and theobromine. Caffeine keeps us awake, makes our mind quick and acts as a dope for the body, increasing muscle contractions and sharpening vision. Its high magnesium content helps relieve premenstrual syndrome (abdominal pain, water retention, fatigue, depression, irritability). It is rich in antioxidants like red wine and tea, which improve mental performance. Antioxidants in dark chocolate improve blood circulation. This means a better supply of cells with oxygen and nutrients.

Dark chocolate has the unique properties of preventing cholesterol from sticking to artery walls, reducing the risk of heart attack and heart attack. Heart attack survivors who consumed chocolate twice a week for two years reduced their risk of heart disease threefold.