When asked what makes you fat and unhealthy, first of all, the good old one chocolate come to mind. There is no other candy that is so associated with all the festivals of the year. When it comes to "sinning," she comes first. It tastes great too. As a child, you were looking forward to eating chocolate. Today you hesitate, because you are thinking about your character.

Over the last few years, research into the basic ingredient of chocolate - cocoa - has found some notable facts. Cocoa is able to work for you. He can even help to make your body fitter and healthier. How is that supposed to work? You ask yourself. Cocoa can help limit the amount of fat in your body, lighten your mood, and boost the performance of your cardiovascular system. These are just the known benefits. It is time to use the chocolate sensibly and without guilt.

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The food of the gods

Already the ancient Aztecs and Mayas worshiped the chocolate and called it the "food of the gods". The cocoa became the "divine drink" and was reserved only for the top layer. The cocoa tasted bitter, had a muddy texture and was drunk cold. Nevertheless, even the Spanish conquerors thought that a cup would allow a man to live without food all day long. The cocoa drink of the Aztecs - the "Xocolatl" - was probably the first sports drink of humanity. In the 16th century, the Spanish conquerors brought the cocoa to Europe. Here he was aligned with countless additives to the local taste. Thus, the precious cocoa of the Aztecs became the sweet and unhealthy chocolate of Western industrial society.

Here is the recipe for the "Xocolatl" of the Aztecs to imitate:

Ingredients: 2 ¾ cups water 1 sliced ​​green chili pepper 1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Preparation:

  • Cook chili peppers in water for 5-10 minutes (about ¾ of a cup).
  • Remove chili peppers and add 2 more cups of water.
  • Bring the liquid to a boil again and add the vanilla as the water heats up.
  • Add cocoa powder and stir for 5 minutes.
  • Allow to cool and serve.

The Xocalatl is not sweet and does not taste too delicious. It's a turbo drink for your body.

Chocolate relaxes

Cocoa is a fruit that grows on trees. At harvest, the cocoa seeds are removed and ground. The cocoa powder originates after the fat cocoa butter has been removed. It is very spicy and has remarkable nutrients, some of which you can feel. First, the cocoa powder contains theobromine, which acts like a gentler form of caffeine. It awakens you and stimulates your mind. In addition to many other ingredients, the cocoa powder also contains tryptophan, which is a precursor to the neurotransmitter hormone serotonin, which has a calming effect. Another valuable asset of cocoa is anandamide, which promotes relaxation. The interaction of the ingredients of the cocoa powder leads to a clear mood improvement.

Cocoa powder strengthens the cardiovascular system

Studies have shown that cocoa powder-containing flavonoids optimize blood flow and have a positive effect on blood pressure and cholesterol levels. As you know, good blood circulation is an ideal prerequisite for building muscle through strength training. Your performance will improve and your recovery periods will be shorter. Cacao contains arginine, the amino acid that is considered to be the immediate precursor of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide, in turn, is a crucial factor in blood flow. Obviously, the cocoa also affects the extent of nitric oxide and its duration in the tissue. Another important ingredient of cocoa powder is the antioxidants. They fight the free radicals that are released by your hard physical training in the body. Research has shown that consuming dark chocolate - both for competitive athletes and non-athletic people - has led to a reduction in inflammation. The exact quantities, however, are not yet scientifically determined.

Cocoa powder can help to get a leaner and fitter body

It all depends Which Chocolate you take to yourself. ever dark she is, the better she is. You should never underestimate the high calorie count. Therefore, a healthy dose is absolutely crucial so that the ingredients of the cocoa powder can also help you to make your body fitter and leaner. The cocoa components reduce the efficiency of the enzymes that digest carbohydrates and fats. As a result, they are less utilized and do not end up in the depots so quickly. Another advantage of cocoa powder is that it limits the activity of certain genes that increase the ability to store fat. It is also interesting that in studies increased incidences of fatty acids in the blood could be detected. This leads to the assumption that the consumption of dark chocolate led to an increase in the release from the fatty tissue.

Which chocolate should you eat to what extent?

There are two questions related to chocolate consumption. How much can you eat? Which types of chocolate should you choose? One thing you should now be clear: The health-promoting properties come from the cocoa powder. However, Western chocolate is much more than that. Additives - such as sugar - are the problem. The darker it is, the better it is suitable. Since you certainly have a western palate, would be for you as a start a chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content a good choice. It still tastes sweet enough. Over time, you can increase the percentage. Pay attention to the quality when buying. It should be the cocoa content clearly on the package. The chocolate should contain as little sugar as possible. You can vary the daily amount. It may be between 40 and 55 grams. But even with high cocoa content, the fat and carbohydrate content of the calories is very high. At 40 grams it is about 200 calories. However, many of these calories are naturally occurring as they come directly from cocoa. In contrast to a milk chocolate, you consume only half as much sugar here. Be careful with the quantity and choice of chocolate, then it will do you more than good.

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