Chocolates...not so bad after all!

September 10, 2008

“Never say a lie”

“Finish your home work in time”

“Obey your parents”

“Never touch chocolates”

These were some of the initial lessons which I learned as a small kid. If there is a book of eternal truths which every mom would pass on to her children, it would definitely have lessons on the above statements. However I would differ in this trend, to a slight but significant extent. The difference lies in the perception about eating chocolates. I would not deny the sweetness of indulging in chocolates.

Chocolates spoil the teeth and are bad for the overall health. This is a myth and no more a reality. There are millions of research papers which reveal the benefits of chocolates. The cavity causing problems associated with these are not account of the cocoa but the sugar mixed with it. This sugar when taken in form of ice creams, puddings, cakes, juices, beverages and candies are equally bad for the teeth as chocolates. Here we do need to understand that the risk of having cavities in the teeth increases on consuming sugar rich edibles and treats. However this can be avoided by brushing and cleansing or at least flossing the teeth after the treat. Hence the habit of cleaning the mouth well after relishing desserts is to be propagated and developed rather than inhibiting kids to munch chocolates.

Some benefits of chocolates which would encourage more moms to take my stand are:

  1. Chocolates have antioxidants. Consequently they destroy the free radicals and hinder the oxidization of lipids into the body.
  2. Chocolate has cocoa butter to a certain degree and these aids in salvaging the exhausted elasticity in the body.
  3. Cacao, the main ingredient of chocolate, has antibacterial agents that combat tooth decay. So if you are eating dark chocolate with more cacao you can perhaps be rest assured that the sugar content wont do as much harm as in the lighter chocolate.
  4. The cocoa butter in chocolate has oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fat which may possibly increase good cholesterol. Chocolate has stearic acid, a neutral fat which doesn’t increase bad cholesterol
  5. The aroma of chocolate may augment theta brain waves, giving rise to relaxation. Chocolate has phenyl ethylamine, a docile mood elevator. The carbohydrates in chocolate increase serotonin concentrations in the brain leading to a feeling of happiness
  6. In addition to these traits, chocolate functions as a remarkable medicine for depression. Many advocate that individuals eat a chocolate any time he or she feels like consuming it. One can actually spend one’s time in an exceedingly attractive manner and stop thinking about all the tribulations of life when one savors tasty chocolate.
  7. The stimulants caffeine and bromine are present in cacao in such little amounts that they don’t result in nervous excitability.
  8. Contrary to popular perception studies confirm that chocolate is not a contributing factor in acne.
  9. Dark chocolate has plant phenols which lower blood pressure.

What is the best time to eat chocolates to minimize the ills of sugar and maximize the benefits of chocolate?

According to one school of thought, it is better to eat chocolates before food, as later when you eat food, all the stickiness will be washed down and the pearlies will be cleared off the sticky residue completely.

According to the other school of thought, if a child is eating five pieces of chocolate a day then he should eat it at one time only, rather than eating them at multiple times because the multiple attacks of chocolate on teeth is bad. Also, consuming chocolates during night time should be preferred.If eaten during the day too much time passes by without brushing the teeth thus giving a chance for the bacteria to cause cavities.”

So keep munching chocolates, the right way.

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