Most people love the taste of chocolates. The good news is that current research reveals that they can actually be good for you. Of course, this is not true of all products and it depends greatly on the ingredients used. Knowing about chocolate and digestion is important in choosing products that are of benefit to your health.
Darker chocolate with the most concentrated cocoa has the most health benefits. Cocoa beans are grown in countries like Ghana with an equatorial climate, meaning regular rainfall and humid conditions. In order for ingredients to be certified as organic they have to comply with various regulations such as no use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Manufacturers are increasingly opting for use of organic ingredients for their health benefits.
Cocoa beans contain many compounds important for health. Antioxidants found in cocoa are helpful in the fight against cardiovascular diseases because they neutralize the effects of free radicals that destroy cells and tissues. Blood pressure is lowered, blood flow improved, bad cholesterol lowered and plaque build-up on artery walls reduced. They also contain high levels of feel good chemicals like serotonin which is probably why people tend to reach for them when they are feeling low.
Cocoa beans contain many vitamins and minerals that help boost energy levels and keep the immune system functioning at its best. For example, they are an important source of magnesium. Magnesium has many benefits such as helping to maintain a healthy heartbeat as well as contributing to energy production and stabilizing the functioning of other minerals like zinc, iron and potassium.
On the wrapper of the bar, a percentage is displayed. This shows the amount of ingredients in a bar that actually come from the cocoa bean. It is the other added ingredients that can cause digestive problems. For example, lactose is a complex sugar found in milk and it needs to be broken down by lactase, a digestive enzyme, for it to be absorbed. If someone is deficient in lactase, they are considered lactose intolerant and can suffer from bloating, gas, abdominal pain and diarrhea when eating dairy products. There are products being manufactured today that are dairy free such as those using dairy-free substitutes like coconut milk.
Sugar is another added ingredient that can cause problems. There are manufacturers who use ingredients like unrefined cane sugar while others do not add sugar at all. However, the taste may then be too bitter for many people. Ingredients like organic vanilla, fruits and nuts may also be included to help give flavor and enhance taste. People with food allergies have to be careful that the products they buy do not contain nuts, soy and other ingredients that could cause allergic reactions.
Some people suffer from digestive diseases or irritable bowel syndrome and they find that eating chocolates can affect them adversely. However, for all those people who do not have digestive problems, eating chocolates can be of benefit to the digestive system. Chocolates contains a sufficient amount of fiber to help with peristaltic movement and stimulate the production of digestive enzymes.
When it comes to chocolate and digestion, there is no question that eating it can be beneficial, depending on the quality and type of product chosen. Manufacturers are catering more and more to the demands of discerning customers who want to eat chocolates that benefit their health without all the added fillers, sugars and other harmful ingredients.
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