At the beginning of the 19th Century, chocolate was sold in chemists as an energy booster for a weak immune system and cocoa has long been linked to all kinds of health benefits due to its unique composition. In fact cocoa contains many valuable nutrients, which can greatly benefit health when consumed as part of a healthy and well balanced diet.
Studies claim that the heart benefits from increased blood flow, less platelet stickiness and clotting, and improved bad cholesterol. These can be attributed to antioxidant chemicals known as flavonoids, which are plentifully present in cocoa.
While theobromine acts as a very mild stimulant with a mild diuretic action, the phenylethylamine properties are said to be a slight antidepressant and stimulant similar to the body's own dopamine and adrenaline.
Furthermore cocoa and chocolate can increase the level of serotonine in the brain and thus improve memory, attention span, reaction time, and problem-solving skills by increasing blood flow to the brain. This is particularly beneficial for people suffering from depression and those experiencing PMS symptoms, whose serotonine levels are often decreased.
Cocoa beans are rich in a number of essential minerals and vitamins, including magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese as well as Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and pantothenic acid.
Finally, we are often asked whether chocolate truly is an aphrodisiac. In a survey of 143 women published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, those who ate chocolate every day seemed to have more sex drive. Our advice: continue eating chocolate and enjoy it.