12-19-2014 by 

What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate. - Katherine Hepburn

There are many ways to become happy, but the most curious of them all is through dark chocolate. Chocolate, and especially dark chocolate, is associated with sin and temptation, but all in a dazzling glamorous manner. So the happiness oozes out the moment you open up a dark chocolate bar. Instantly the chocolate smell emits a sense of romance, mystery, and sheer guilt of course.

All these elements are usually absent from our dull and dreary normal lives. Yet, we can always fill the void with a small dose of dark chocolate, and we don't even have to feel guilty. Fortunately for us chocolate-sinners our secret pleasure is surprisingly good for our mood and health!

The Dark Chocolate Mood-Booster

Dark chocolate is the yummiest of mood boosters. Whenever you are bored or sad, just indulge yourself with a bit of dark chocolate. Doctor's orders! Chocolate is recommended in small quantities for mind and health benefits. Studies have now shown that dark chocolate contains chemicals that can help impove your mood! This is the best piece of dark news I've heard lately.

Just sitting by yourself and enjoying a bar of dark chocolate can give you the much sought after “me time,“ and some quiet reclusive moments to sit back and contemplate on life. You don't even need any excuse or guilt to indulge. (phew!) Whenever you are getting bored or sad, just grab a dark chocolate bar and lighten your spirit and your mood.

Dark Chocolate: Good for Your Health

Now let’s move to the health benefits. Dark chocolate is the new health fetish. It is recommended as the healthy version of chocolate due to its high concentration of cacao seeds. Cacao seeds are the source of healthy benefits: full of antioxidants and chemicals that help cardiovascular health. Also, an obvious plus is the absence of sugar which makes it instantly superior to other chocolate forms. As you must know, that sugar free diet is another health rage these days and dark chocolate fits well into the category.

Cacao vs. Cocoa

Since we are talking about health it is important to know the difference between cocoa and cacao. Cacao is the raw form, and less treated, while cocoa is the treated form of the product that goes into most chocolate. Cacao, in the untreated form, has more health benefits - and, yep, dark chocolate has more cacao content than regular milk chocolate.

Brief History of Chocolate

Cacao was originally cultivated in the Pre-Columbian Americas, and was protected by Mayan and Aztec priests and royalty. The priests must have known the benefits of cacao! Cacao seeds were actually used as currency by some Native American tribes because of their value. Eventually, the seed spread to farming in Africa and Asia. Today, the largest producers of cacao are the Ivory Coast and Indonesia - accounting for half of the world-wide production.

Mayan Priests Protecting Chocolate

 Chocolate is now found everywhere in the world, but not all of it is good chocolate. Finding good dark chocolate today isn't always easy since supermarkets usually push the sugary milk chocolates. Most cheaper chocolates are made with imitation fillers and small amounts of cacao. As a result, they are missing the benefits that come from the cacao seed. During my research about dark chocolate I came across this interesting site that shows how to find quality chocolate. I'm sharing the link for you to read and enjoy: "How to Find Good Quality Chocolate"

 

More Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

There are also other health benefits associated with dark chocolate. Some research shows that dark chocolate is helpful in reducing cholesterol and blood pressure. Dark chocolate also has a certain amount of caffeine which keeps you alert. Dark chocolate propels the metabolism which in small doses improves the quality of life. Dark chocolate also possesses polyphenols in double the amount of regular chocolate. Polyphenols are a mood enhancer and help with general positive feelings. For more chocolate information check the source here:  "Is Chocolate Good For You? The Pros and Cons"

Chocolate is a Dark Aphrodisiac Too...

Finally, I come to my favourite part where I can tell you that dark chocolate is famous as an aphrodisiac. Have you ever wondered why chocolate is considered a romantic gift? Well, apart from the sweet tooth, chocolate helps in releasing endorphins and creating a higher mood-elevating serotonin level. It leads to a certain calmness and pleasure level which could also be channeled into a love drive. (Don’t ask for medical research on this one because everything sometimes just relies on trusting a random psychic’s words.)

Guys, now I must wrap this up, and grab my dark chocolate bar and probably you should too!

Mood Keywords: nutrition, sad, fatigue, health, satisfaction
 
Sources:
1. Brewer, Sarah. "Is Chocolate Good For You? The Pros and Cons". http://nutritionexpert.healthspan.co.uk/is-chocolate-good-for-you-the-pros-and-cons September 5, 2005.
2. Hepburn, Katherine. "Quotes About Chocolate". Good Reads. http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/chocolate Accessed December 18, 2014.
3. "How to Find Good Quality Dark Chocolate". http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/how-to-find-good-quality-chocolate April 11, 2014.
4. Marie, Joann "Antioxidant Benefits of Raw Cacao". http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/antioxidant-benefits-raw-cacao-3990.html no date.
5. Spadaccini, Jim. "The Sweet Lure of Chocolate" Exploring Online. http://www.exploratorium.edu/exploring/exploring_chocolate/ no date.
 
Image Credits: Main Image: Photoshut © 123RF.com (used under license) Inset Image: Mayan Priests Protecting Chocolate - From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.
 
© 2014 by Higher Mood™ unless noted otherwise - All Rights Reserved. Subject to our terms of use. Article Reuse Information: see our article reuse policy.
 

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