Sunday, April 8, 2012





"Our findings indicate that milk may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate ... milk may negate the potential health benefits from eating dark chocolate."
Translation: Say "Dark, please," when ordering at the chocolate 
counter. Don't even think of washing it down with milk.
And if health is your excuse for eating chocolate, remember the word "moderate" as you nibble…Italy's National Institute for Food and Nutrition.
To realize it's health benefits. Studies show that one ounce a day of chocolate is plenty, but ensure your chocolate has at least 70 percent cocoa.

Also for example, part of  the "GHIRALDELLI" product range, they have:
BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS with 60% CACAO, delivering an intensely rich yet balanced chocolate sensation.
BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE (35-99% Cacao Content)

UNSWEETENED CHOCOLATE (100% Cacao Content) also called chocolate liquor, made from finely ground roasted cocoa nibs.

Research shows that chocolate contains a hormone known as phenylethylamine, which creates a happy aura. It is the same as the good feeling hormone triggered by the brain when we fall in love.

Cocoa bean (cacao) is the dried seed, from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter are extracted.. To make 1 kg (2.2 pounds) of chocolate, about 300 to 600 beans are processed, depending on the desired cocoa content.

Cocoa and dark chocolate contain a high level of flavonoids, specifically epicatechin, which with prolonged intake, may have beneficial cardiovascular effects on health

This refers to raw cocoa. The amount is less in dark chocolate, since these flavonoids degrade during cooking and alkalizing processes

Cocoa possesses a significant antioxidant action, protecting against LDL oxidation,
perhaps more when compared to other polyphenol antioxidant-rich foods and beverages.

A cocoa plant in my neighbor's garden.

Cocoa  increase blood flow to the brain and reduces  the risk of these diseases.” Several studies have shown that a decrease in blood flow to the brain is tied to both dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.”


1-Hollenberg, a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School studied the effects of cocoa and flavanols on the Kuna Indian population of Panama. 
Research showed that the Kuna Indians cocoa drinkers, living on the islands had significantly lower rates of heart disease and cancer, as compared to those living on the mainland who do not drink cocoa. 
The island people drink more than five cups of cocoa a day. So it was not due to their genes.
His experiments dealt with natural cocoa, not those processed varieties. The natural cocoa beans are full of ingredients called flavanols, antioxidant compounds.

Strokes and so-called vascular dementia involve restricted flow of blood to the brain, so Hollenberg and others naturally regard flavanol-rich cocoa as a possible treatment for those ills. Stroke is one of the world’s major killers, and dementias, including Alzheimer’s disease, afflict 10 percent of people over the age of 65.

One study, more than 1,300 elderly people in France, found that flavanoids, a larger category that includes flavanols, decreased the risk of dementia.

2- A 15-year study of elderly men published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2006 found a 50 percent reduction in cardiovascular mortality and a 47 percent reduction in all-cause mortality for men who regularly consume the most cocoa, compared to those who did not.

Chocolate and cocoa contain a high level of xanthines, specifically theobromine and to a much lesser extent caffeine,

3-Muscle recovery

A study from James Madison University, USA, showed that post-exercise consumption of low fat chocolate milk provides equal or possibly superior muscle recovery, compared to a high-carbohydrate recovery drink with the same amount of calories. Athletes drinking chocolate milk had significantly lower levels of muscle damage.

In modern medicine, theobromine is used as a vascular (a blood vessel widener), a diuretic (urination aid), and heart stimulant
Theobromine increases urine production. Because of this diuretic effect, and its ability to dilate blood vessels, theobromine has been used to treat high blood pressure
Theobromine (theobromide), also known as xantheose, is a bitter alkaloid of the cocoa plant
The bitter theobromine in chocolate varies  from 2% to 10% , usually having higher concentrations in "dark" chocolate. A small amount can be found in tea plant.
Research suggests that theobormine may even act as a cough suppressant, although the level tested was much higher than what is found in dark chocolates.
Cocoa is the number one plant species with the largest amounts of theobromine.
THEOBROMINE concentrations in cocoa and carob products are
ITEM                              THEOBROMINE CONTENT (mg/g)
Cocoa                                              20.30
Cocoa beverages                                2.66
Chocolate bakery products                   1.47
Cocoa cereals                                    0.69
Chocolate ice creams                          0.62
Chocolate milk                                   0.23

1-Cocoa reduce blood pressure, but drinking Tea may not.
-ScienceDaily (Apr. 9, 2007) — Foods rich in cocoa appears to reduce blood pressure but drinking tea may not, according to an analysis of published research  issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Tea and cocoa are both rich in polyphenols, but of different types.
Most of Black and green tea  polyphenol is known as flavan-3-ols.
Most of Cocoa polyphenol is known as procyanids.
The cocoa phenols are more active in preventing cardiovascular disease, as compared to the tea phenols.

2- Eat 30 calories a day lowers blood pressure without weight gain.
-ScienceDaily (July 3, 2007) — Eating about 30 calories a day of dark chocolate was associated with a lowering of blood pressure, without weight gain or other adverse effects, according to a study in the July 4 issue of JAMA.

3-Brisk walk could help Chocoholics stop snacking

ScienceDaily (Nov. 11, 2008) — Researchers at the University of Exeter have found that a fifteen minutes walk, can reduce chocolate cravings.

Professor Adrian Taylor comments: "Our ongoing work consistently shows that brief physical activity reduce cigarette cravings, but this is the first study to link exercise to reduced chocolate cravings.

Neuroscientists suggested the common processes in the reward centres of the brain between drug and food addictions 
and exercise may effect brain chemicals to regulate mood and cravings.
This is good news for people who struggle to manage their cravings for sugary snacks and want to lose weight."

“This research furthers our understanding of the complex physical, psychological and emotional relationship we have with food."
4-Dark chocolate is more filling than Milk chocolate and lessens Cravings
ScienceDaily (Dec. 10, 2008) — New research at the Faculty of Life Sciences (LIFE) at the University of Copenhagen – shows that dark chocolate is far more filling than milk chocolate, lowers our craving for sweet, salty and fatty foods. In other words eating dark chocolate may be an efficient way to keep your weight down.

5-New evidence that Dark chocolate helps ease Emotional stress

ScienceDaily (Nov. 11, 2009) — The "chocolate cure" for emotional stress, supported from a clinical trial published online in ACS'Journal of 4Proteome Research. It found that eating about an ounce and a half of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced levels of stress hormones in the bodies of people feeling highly stressed. Also partially corrected other stress-related biochemical imbalances

6-Why Chocolate protects against Heart disease

ScienceDaily (Nov. 10, 2010) — Cocoa has a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases. This has been uncovered by researchers at Link√∂ping University in Sweden. When a group of volunteers devoured a good-sized piece of dark chocolate, it inhibited (prevent) an enzyme in their bodies that is known to raise blood pressure.

In the study, scientists identified stress hormones were reduced and other stress-related biochemical changes in highly stressed volunteers who ate dark chocolate for two weeks.

"The study provides strong evidence that a daily consumption of 40 grams [1.4 ounces] dark chocolate, during a period of 2 weeks is sufficient to modify the metabolism of healthy human volunteers," the scientists said.

1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water1 tbsp lemon zest
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
A pinch of salt


Mix and stir all ingredients.
Boil for 5 minutes or more, stirring rapidly, until sauce begins to thicken.
Put off fire, remove from oven and  let cool. Refrigerate.


Place 2 scoops chocolate ice cream in a large serving glass.
Add Coke Cola or Ginger Beer

Top with a little whipped cream and 2 fruits cherry, strawberry.
Put one round marble size dark chocolate on top

The World Health Organisation predicts that by 2030, nearly 23.6 million people will die from heart disease. Lifestyle and diet are key prevention factors.
Chocolate has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies showed that eating chocolate reduces blood pressure and improve insulin sensitivity and lower risk of cardiovascular events.

They found that the "highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37% reduction in cardiovascular disease and
a 29% reduction in stroke compared with lowest levels."
No significant reduction was found in relation to heart failure.

Commercialized chocolate is very calorific (around 500 calories for every 100 grams) and eating too much can lead to weight gain, risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Due to the health benefits of eating chocolate, one must find ways to reduce the current fat and sugar content in most chocolate products.

Story Source:
The above story is reprinted by Science Daily, from materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

Disclaimer from Science Daily: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.


  1. hi Wan ur every post is informative and useful. nice to read ur post very helpful or health

    1. hi santosh , glad you find this post useful, thank you and have a nice day

  2. Delicious ice cream float and I love chocolates,loved the health tips !!
    Happy Easter :-)
    Erivum Puliyum

    1. hi julie, now i remembered you celebrate easter, guess you had a great time with your family eating that delicious stuffed chicken. have a nice day

  3. As a devout chocoholic, I love your article. Very informative and makes me more encouraged to love my chocolates!

    1. hi dr jehanne, you are a chocoholic? hmm, hope you don't eat those milky ones and then do the tap dance for half hour. ha ha.. have a nice day and thanks for coming over

  4. wow, such a detailed post abt chocolates, so informative, have always heard that dark chocolate has health benefits, nice easy recipes..another great post from u dear !!

    1. hi sobha, yes, i did a detailed post to ensure my readers benefit as much as possible with the facts of cocoa and to dark chocolate to a lesser extent.

  5. I didn't like chocolate until my 40s...Now I'm trying to compensate. LOVE dark chocolate!
    Thanks Wan for this wonderful post!

    1. hi jasna, there's lots of time to compensate- all is not lost. i am trying to find a way to drink cocoa without without adding in sugar, but add in something else to make it less bitter to drink.
      i think dates juice is best, its sweet but it does not have the diabetic type of sugar. have a nice day..

    2. Have you heard of 'Stevia' sugar - it's natural (from stevia plant) contains only a few calories, and it's not dangerous as diabetic sweeteners...It's expensive and called 'stevia' or 'natvia' sugar.

    3. hi Jasna, many thanks for your suggestion. i will try the stevia... heard of it but i dare not try unless recommended by someone who already uses it.
      I am very scared of excessive sugar intake. i saw how my diabetic neighbor suffered.
      have a wonderful day.

  6. Replies
    1. hi travel packages.. thank you for coming over, see you at the grand canyon and have a nice day.

  7. This blog is just awesome, You written it very well and this one make me habitual to post comments on this type's of blog.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. hi mumbai escorts- thank you for your sweet comments. have a nice day
      please note that i deleted the above comment due to spelling error.

  8. I do have small pieces of chocs esp when my energy is down. However too much of chocs I find makes me grow side ways. Great sharing Maznah and plenty of info you have shared.

    1. hi nava, so you shy away from chocolates.. luckily i dont need to , but am not a chocoholic like dr jehanne and jay..ha ha. have a nice day

  9. Wow, great post Ms Wan. You have given loads of info and health benefits of dark chocolate in detail and many more info, thanks for sharing. Here we make float especially for kids party like Halloween, X'mas and all but never did it with choc ice-cream, will try that too..

    1. h prathiba, thank you dear for appreciating this detailed input on health benefits of cocoa and dark chocolates as well as chocolate ice cream. they compliment each other. have a nice day

  10. details post about cocoa
    nice post

    1. hi sms, thanks for your your comment and for being here.. i can tell you have been liking my posts. have a nice day

  11. Just had a very rich dark chocolate at the cafe just now. Nasib baik tak letak susu.

    1. hi diana, ha ha, you are funny... yum yum iced cold rich dark chocolate makes me drool. gotta have one too. thanks and have a nice day

  12. Hello Wan..dark chocos has been proven to help heal those with heart I am into munching dark chocos hehehe..thank you for these useful informations really helps..visiting you ;)

    1. hi sie, hope you consistently munch the "Unsweetened Chocolates cos they have no milk to destroy the antioxidant properties. on a daily basis sie.. its sugarless, so its ok.

      else you drink warm cocoa without sugar.. very bitter tho, may be you blend and add in dates cos date sugar is not diabetic sugar, unlike other fruits.
      all the best to you sie, in fact when i did this post, i always have you in my mind, have a nice day dear.

  13. Hello Wan lovely post on something that I avoid as once I start eating chocolate I eat....:)
    Love the dips will come back when I need to make them.Thanks

    1. hi archana, haha the mad kitchen scientist, how's your cooling iced drink? glass too small. with that 5 km walk, you sure wont desire for chocolates anymore ha ha. have a nice day dear.

  14. So detailed and beneficial to all! Keep up the good work dear!

    1. hi treat and treat, glad you like my post..some scientific words i have to use and maintained, but i have done a very simple explanation on most facts, making it easier for most readers to follow, understand and benefit from this post.

      You know, some readers, even tho they are very highly educated, but they are not very fluent in english.
      have a nice day dear

  15. wow..thanks for the wonderful info droooooooooooling here actually...:)
    loooooooooove chocolates & now even more..
    btw..instead of baby mangoes, we can try the same recipe with amla fruit also giv a try..!
    Tasty Appetite

    1. hi jay, you chocoholic! make sure you dont nibble milk chocolates ok, else all you antioxidant will be destroyed..

      thanks for the tips on baby mangoes, but i dont know what is amla fruit, ha ha, i will google, dont worry. There's also a small sour fruit over here, which looks like babies of baby mangoes.. i think they are just great substitutes... yummy... have a nice day

  16. got to know more abt my fave thing on the world..chocolates...thank you dear

  17. wow..thats a whole lot of information!! Being a chocoholic, this was really useful for me :) Thanks a lot for sharing with us! Good effort!

    1. hi Teena Mary, thank you for coming over, chocoholic? good for you, you can nibble the non milky ones only ok.. have a nice day

  18. hi ramiya, thanks for being here and glad you find my post useful. have a nice day

  19. Wow wonderful post,loads of information regarding chocolate and its health benefits,loved the chocolate sauce recipe too,I guess this is why I love chocolates:)

    1. hi suja, thanks for your visit and sweet comments..glad you like the chocolate sauce for fruit and cookie dips. have a nice day

  20. Wow!!such a healthy info abt chocos..and delicious sauce.will try it soon....

    1. hi maha, glad you came, thanks for liking my recipe and happy to know that you like chocolates too

  21. Hi friends thanks for the wonderful make me guilt free, from now on whenever I feel to have some chocolates I will remember all the good things! your chocolate recipes are all awesome ...and I can't wait to try the float!:)

    1. hi sutapa, thank you for liking my post, just hope you don't eat those milky varieties. ha ha stick to the "guilt free" ones that has more than 70% cocoa content.
      have a nice day

  22. very informative Wan! love cocoa as much as I love coffee...Wan!!!!I am back from Phuket and just nice before they close the phuket airport due to tsunami alert! God Bless!!!

    1. hi rina, hi and i am so glad you made it just on time from Phuket, else you get into a lot of mess.
      worst if the tsunami hits.
      i saw you just posted on that. looking forward to blog over to your site now. have a nice day. besides nescafe, i am trying to drink cocoa now..

  23. Replies
    1. hi asmita. glad you came and like the "metabolic rate" post and thank you for this visit too.
      I know they can benefit you a lot. have a nice day

  24. Hi Wan..:)Sorry I'm late.:)hehe, One of my weakness is CHOCOLATES..:) And this post is very useful and informative :) Thanks for sharing another 'must' my friend..:) muaaaaaahhh!!:)

    Have a wonderful day! :)

  25. hi linda, glad you came, it's ok, cos you have always been early. chocoholics? exercise and go for the dark ones-over 70% cocoa...
    have a nice day

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