They accused chocolate of destroying the teeth and causing headaches, but on the other hand we were told that he is healthy and helps concentration. So where is the truth? In celebration of its international anniversary, we set out to check myths about chocolate and came back with a bag of surprises, and also an insight: being bitter is not always bad.
In USA, we haven’t had too many reasons to party lately, but in the world – the month of July was particularly happy. Among other things, the USA celebrated Independence Day on July 4th, on the 13th of the month Germany won the soccer world cup. And in between, on July 7th, a holiday was celebrated that many of you probably didn’t know existed: World Chocolate Day.
The unwritten law says that on this holiday you are allowed to go wild and eat as much cocoa as you can, but to us it seems a bit excessive. Nevertheless, you should leave room for the desserts of Friday dinner with the family . No, the myth that there is a separate stomach for sweets – unfortunately it is not true.
And what about myths about cocoa? For example, that it destroys the teeth and causes headaches, but on the other hand is good for your health and helps your mind to be focused? Before you cut a cube and take a bite, let’s bust some myths.
1. Chocolate makes holes in the teeth
Not true. The most serious “crime” that it will be charged with if and when it has to appear before a candy court, is causing tooth decay. The truth is that any carbohydrate can cause cavities – the key is maintaining proper oral hygiene.
It has an advantage over snacks like Bamba and Bisley, for example, and even over bread and crackers, because it melts relatively quickly in the mouth and leaves bacteria less time to create holes. In any case, it is better to eat cocoa (and sweets in general) as a dessert after a meal, because then there is an increased secretion of saliva that helps wash away the food residues.
It is also recommended to choose chocolate with a larger amount of cocoa butter and as little sugar as possible. Cocoa has the ability to destroy harmful bacteria that circulate in our mouth.
2. It is healthy
Partially true . Dark chocolate is full of flavonoids (antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables) that help with heart health and prevent diabetes, but their powers are greatly diminished when ingredients like butter, sugar, and milk enter the equation. Therefore, to enjoy the taste and health benefits of cocoa, it is recommended to choose chocolate that contains a high percentage of cocoa instead of milk chocolate.
Many health experts claim that it is actually a superfood: cocoa powder and dark chocolate contain more antioxidants to strengthen the immune system than foods such as blueberries, cranberries and other fruits that are considered particularly healthy.
3. White chocolate is not real
Right. White chocolate is an impostor, because it does not contain solid cocoa but only cocoa butter (and sometimes in small amounts – cheap versions even rely on vegetable fat). Due to the lack of cocoa solids, white chocolate does not contain the antioxidants that “real” cocoa has.
4. Chocolate causes rashes
Not true. Has it also happened to you (some of you a long time ago) that you ate it and then ran to the mirror to check if you got an unsympathetic wound? Well, you are definitely not alone. It seems that the story about the connection between cocoa and acne scars has been running for over 100 years .
It is not clear who started it or who was responsible for spreading it, but it refuses to explode. Like a hatchet that grows again and again. So if we fell into the trap, at least the future generation will know the truth: to this day we have not found any connection between chocolate. point!
5. Chocolate causes headaches
Not true. Similar to the combination between bright lights and alcohol , it has long been considered to be the culprit in migraines – but conclusive proof of the link has not been found. Quite a few experts claim that the reason for the false belief is related to the fact that before a migraine, people have a desire for sweets – and chocolate is one of the most popular of them.
“You eat it and you get a headache . Does this mean that chocolate is to blame for the headache? What is probably happening is that the first symptom of your migraine attack is the desire to eat chocolate. Just like when you are pregnant, you may want pickles or ice cream,” they explain.
6. Chocolate makes us happy
Right. Eating chocolate makes us happier! The reason is that cocoa contains chemicals, such as tryptophan, that positively affect our mood. Tryptophan is an amino acid that produces serotonin – the hormone that causes relaxation and pleasure and is found in antidepressant pills .
It is true that sugar also increases the level of serotonin, but only for a short time due to its rapid absorption into the blood. In order to prolong the effect of serotonin for a longer period, it is recommended to eat complex carbohydrates (such as bread, rice and pasta) that break down and are absorbed more slowly into the blood.
The feeling after eating chocolate is often compared to the feeling that a person feels in love or to a feeling of euphoria. A study that examined brain activity found that when chocolate melts in the mouth, a greater impulse of excitement is generated than during a kiss. The results surprised even the study authors.
7. Chocolate helps concentration
not true “Take chocolate so you can concentrate.” Have you ever heard it before a test or a job interview? There is only a small problem: the recommendation will not only not help you, but will probably also harm you.
Chocolate releases sugar so quickly in the blood and your brain reaches its peak function very quickly. So far so good, but in a short time insulin will be released which will cause the sugar to enter the cells and leave it from the blood – which will cause a sharp decrease in brain function and make you feel much less energetic and focused than you were before you took a bite.