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Goodness in the Purest Sin: Chocolates!!!

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“Forget love … I’d rather fall in chocolate!” – Anonymous. That pretty much sums up our feelings for the most tempting food in the world- CHOCOLATES. Who does not know about the mood-enhancing properties of chocolates and it being a great aphrodisiac? But do know that these little “Devils” can actually be good for your health too? Researches in the recent past have confirmed that dark chocolates can be healthy, if taken in moderation. So, now you have a reason to have a lifetime affair with “CHOCOLAT”

Scientific Researches on Dark Chocolates
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Dark Chocolates healthier than fruit juices
Yes, you read it right. The research team at the Hershey Centre for Health & Nutrition concluded this delicious fact that chocolates are better than fruits. It was reported that cocoa beans and dark chocolates contain more antioxidants and flavanols than the fruit juices. These components are very important to the body for repairing cells, strengthening the arteries and preventing cardiac ailments. Suzanne Steinbaum, Cardiologist at the Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, feels that a piece of dark chocolate is a better option for a snack.

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Dark Chocolates might reduce blood pressure
The researchers from the German Institute of Human Nutrition, Nuthetal, Germany claim that eating chocolates can reduce the blood pressure. They studied about 19,357 people in the age group 35-65 for 10 years. This positive effect of chocolates on blood pressure might be due to the presence of flavanols in cocoa. As cocoa is more in dark chocolates, they are a better option for reducing the blood pressure.

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Dark Chocolates are heart-healthy
They not only just melt you heart but also keep it healthy. A study published by the American Chemical Society reported that chocolate can boost the production of HDL that is “good” cholesterol which protects the body against heart ailments. This happens due to the presence of polyphenols, a compound in cocoa. It reduces the “bad” cholesterol and revs up the production of the “good” ones. All these activities keeps the heart healthy and fit.

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Dark Chocolates Can Help Ease Emotional Stress
Now you have scientific reason to bite into that chocolate bar when under stress. According to a research published in ACS’ Journal of Proteome Research, having small amount of chocolate everyday can reduce the levels of the stress hormones in highly stressed out people. In the study, it was observed that 40 grams of chocolate consumption for 2 weeks was enough to change the metabolism in healthy people. More research is needed to find out the how chocolate reduces emotional stress.

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Dark Chocolates Can Protect The Brain After Stroke
The answer to the protection of the brain after a stroke might lie in dark chocolates. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins have found a compound called epicatechin, naturally present in the dark chocolate, can protect brain damage by increasing the cellular signals. These signals are said to shield the cells of the nerves from damage. The experiment was carried out on mice and they responded positively to the compound.

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Dark Chocolates are good for the Liver Health
A study presented at the International Liver CongressTM 2010, Vienna, Austria, says that dark chocolates can reduce the damage to blood vessels of cirrhotic patients and lower the blood pressure in liver. The Spanish research found out that the presence of potent anti-oxidants might bring down the blood pressure in liver which is linked to the damaged blood vessels of the liver.

Do not let all the research make you over-excited and gobble down that whole bar of pure sin. The word to watch out for while devouring chocolates is “moderation”. Writing this article has surely had a mouth-watering effect on me, I am going for my box of chocolates.

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