Chocolate For Breakfast? Yes, or No?
Should you have chocolate for breakfast? Having a little chocolate while you welcome the sunrise can be a fun way to infuse bittersweet flavor nuances and, yes, nutritional benefits into a healthy breakfast. The key is to choose the most nutritious types and add them to already heart-hero recipes.
A study analyzed 19 postmenopausal women who were involved in a randomized, controlled cross-over trial. The women consumed 100g of milk chocolate either within one hour of waking up or within one hour of going to bed. The researchers compared weight gain and other measures to women who had no chocolate intake.
The researchers reported that morning or nighttime chocolate intake did not lead to weight gain and that eating chocolate in either the morning or the evening can influence hunger and appetite, microbiota composition, sleep, and more factors. They also found that a high intake of chocolate during the morning hours could actually help with fat burning and reduce blood glucose levels. Eating chocolate at night could also alter metabolism the following morning.
Chocolate Is A Natural Mood Booster And Anti-Depressant
That feeling of “euphoria” after consuming high-quality chocolate is the work of the unique chemicals released with the body’s absorption of cocoa. The bliss chemicals serotonin, anandamide, phenylethylamine plus mega endorphins send messages to the brain of satiation like no other substance on this earth.
What Serotonin Does
The release of serotonin in the brain regulates anxiety, happiness, and mood. Serotonin promotes an overall sense of wellbeing.
That gorgeous blissed-out feeling when you have a square of high-quality chocolate melting on your tongue – yep, that is caused by the release of the relaxation chemical anandamide to the brain.
Here is a bit of science: cocoa contains both N-acylethanolamines. These temporarily increase the levels of anandamide in the brain and enzyme inhibitors that slow its breakdown. The result: ultimate relaxation and also a simulation of the feeling of lying on a hot beach in the sun somewhere tropical – pure bliss!
The brain creates chemical compounds called Phenylethylamine (PEAs). It is released when we are in love and when we eat chocolate. That is why eating chocolate recreates the giddy and restless feelings that happen when we are in love.
Chocolate Makes For A Healthy Heart
Eating dark chocolate is like an exercise workout for the heart. It helps restore flexibility to arteries while also preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels.
The essential nutrients found in cocoa can help to lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes. It does this by reducing blood clots, dilate blood vessels, regulate heartbeat, and improve circulation, lower bad cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Chocolate Can Keep You In Shape
Eating a few squares of dark, sugar-free chocolate can also help regulate your appetite and reduce the risk of overeating at mealtimes. The MAO (Monoamine Oxidase) inhibitors found in cocoa are responsible for keeping your appetite in check.
These MAO inhibitors in cocoa also allows more serotonin and other neurotransmitters to circulate in the brain. This facilitates youth regeneration and rejuvenation and encourages weight loss naturally by diminishing the urge to overeat.
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