Eating dark chocolate every day could help boost athletic performance

Chocolates have been the favourites of everyone and even the researchers, read out earlier article of researches under Health benefits of Chocolates.

research on chocolateIn a recent study undertaken at London’s Kingston University has found the tasty treat could help give sports enthusiasts an extra edge in their fitness training.

undertaken at London’s Kingston University has found the tasty treat could help give sports enthusiasts an extra edge in their fitness training.

undertaken at London’s Kingston University has found the tasty treat could help give sports enthusiasts an extra edge in their fitness training.

After undergoing initial fitness tests to establish a baseline for comparison, the participants were then split into two groups. The first group was asked to replace one of its normal daily snacks with 40g of a dark chocolate known to be rich in flavanols for a fortnight, while the other participants substituted 40g of white chocolate for one of their daily snacks as a control.

The effects of the athletes’ daily chocolate consumption were then measured in a series of cycling exercise tests in the kingston-universitysports performance laboratory at the University’s Penrhyn Road campus. The cyclists’ heart rates and oxygen consumption levels were measured during moderate exercise and in time trials. After a seven-day interval, the groups then switched chocolate types and the two-week trial and subsequent exercise tests were repeated.

The study stated that after eating dark chocolate, the riders used less oxygen when cycling at a moderate pace and also covered more distance in a two-minute flat-out time trial.

For Full Article Click here

Are chocolates good for pets?

chocolate for petsChocolate and dogs are a bad combination. Sure, they’re each great on their own, but together, the combination can be lethal. The same can be said of chocolate and cats, or chocolate and any pet.

The theobromine in chocolate, one of the substances that makes it so pleasant for us, is toxic to many animals, including dogs and cats. They are unable to digest this chemical, and, as it circulates in the bloodstream, it damages the central nervous and circulatory systems.

ALL CHOCOLATE CONTAINS THEOBROMINE, THEREFORE ALL CHOCOLATE IS BAD FOR PETS. CHOCOLATE AND DOGS, CATS, OR OTHER PETS = BAD BAD BAD!

The higher the cocoa content, the more theobromine it contains, so 100% pure baking chocolate has much more theobromine than milk chocolate, which in turn has more than white chocolate. Even though white chocolate must be ingested in huge doses before it is usually lethal, it is best to KEEP ALL CHOCOLATE AWAY FROM PETS! A single ounce of baker’s chocolate can be lethal to a 10-pound animal. It wouldn’t take much to do in your hamster or lizard.

If you are a cat owner, do not assume your finicky cat can be trusted with your chocolate bar. Cats are curious, and my cat happens to adore chocolate! Because of their small bodies, even small doses of chocolate can be lethal.

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include:

anxiety
pacing
hyper-excitability
irritability
excessive thirst
excessive urination
vomiting
muscular tremors
seizures
diarrhea
nausea
irregular heartbeat
coma

Symptoms usually appear within a few hours, but can take up to 36 hours to manifest. The sooner an animal is treated, the better chance it has, so if you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate, do not wait for the symptoms! Take your pet to the vet immediately! If your pet displays these symptoms, go to your vet!

Be ready to tell your vet:

1) how much chocolate you think your pet ate,

2) what type of chocolate it was, and

3) how long ago it was.

It is helpful to bring the chocolate wrapper, if it is available.

If your pet ingested the chocolate within the past couple of hours, the vet may induce vomiting or pump the animal’s stomach. If it has been longer that a couple of hours, the theobromine will already be circulating in the animal’s system and the vet will attempt to support the animal’s own defensive systems through intravenous fluids and drugs, such as anti-seizure medication.

Remember that the best medicine is prevention. Keep your pet safe by being a responsible chocoholic. Keep all chocolate and candy away from your pets!

Chocolate and dogs, cats, or any other animal is a bad combination, so you’re just going to have to eat it all yourself!

Pairing Wine with Dark Chocolates

chocolatewine-434x434Chocolate & Cheese are usually paired with Wine.

So how to pair up wine that with a balances both tastes.

If you have light wine start with milk chocolates as light wines like champaign compliments with milk chocolates.

Coming towards dark chocolate : it comes in different range starting from 35% to 99% dark and different chocolatier have made their own different unique recipes with inclusion of salts and herbs and silky smooth ganaches. So lighter the percentage of chocolate lighter the wine. Stronger the intensity of chocolate stronger the wine balance the taste.

Suggestions from the specialist:

  • White: Muscat, Sherry
  • Milk: Merlot, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Dessert wines
  • Dark, Bittersweet, Semisweet: Zinfandel, Syrah, Tawny Port, Armagnac, Cognac

Some Truths About Compound Chocolate

compound versus chocolateIn India and other countries nowadays compound chocolate is getting popular because of its “no tempering needed” and “low cost”. Its common names are baker’s chocolate, confectioner’s chocolate, coating chocolate.
Ofcourse if we are changing the structure of chocolate from its pure form to compound form there are plus points and minus points of that, explained below:
Plus Points of Compound Chocolate:Due to addition of vegetable oil instead of cocoa butter it gives low viscosity and is easy to be moulded or used as a covering for cakes or confectionery. Compound chocolate does not require tempering that means a novice can also use it and doesn’t require tempering unit. Compound chocolate got high melting point than regular chocolate which make it best for baking. Compound chocolates doesn’t give chocolate a bloom which pure chocolates does, which is the rising of cocoa butter, giving the chocolate a dull cloudy look.
Minus Points of Compound Chocolate:Due to addition of vegetable oil it contains hydrogenated fats or trans fat which is not good for health. Pure chocolate or coverture chocolate contains cocoa butter which is good for body.
Check the Health benefits of Chocolate

5 tips to enjoy Cocoa in a healthyway

Do you know someone who doesn’t like chocolate?
The chocolate, beyond being a delicious food can benefit our health, but must be consumed properly. Here are five tips to get more out of this amazing treat.

1. Chocolate when eaten properly brings health benefits, don’t stop consuming, but not abuse.
2. The dark chocolate is healthier than other types of chocolate.
3. The indicated amount of chocolate to be consumed daily is 30 grams, the equivalent to a small chocolate bar.
4. Combine chocolate with fruits: strawberry skewers topped with chocolate, for example, is an excellent alternative. The vegetable fiber found in fruits helps satiate the desire, and is a delight.
5. Use cocoa powder, preferably sugar free and organic and in your recipes.

Cocoa Butter Vs. Veg. Oil

Both real chocolate and compound chocolate are chocolate – the difference is the type of lipid (fat) or oil used in the production of the product.
A chocolate that is made from “Cocoa Butter” the main ingredient to make chocolate delicious and creamy in texture is the pure form of chocolate. If the chocolate is made from “Vegetable oil” it is a compound chocolate.
Pure chocolate is subdivided into three categories based on the quality of the product (quality of the cocoa beans) and most importantly, the cocoa butter content: regular chocolate, couverture chocolate, and ultra couverture chocolate.
Pure Chocolate requires a process called “Tempering” that makes chocolate to shine on its own without any artificial agent and creamy in taste.
Compound Chocolate is also a chocolate made from replacing cocoa butter with vegetable oil. It is also called Baker’s chocolate or moulding chocolate as its easy to mould and is used by hobbyist and professionals for artistic work.
Couverture Chocolate translates to “covering” and refers to the finest professional quality chocolate. It is produced with a high percentage of cocoa butter and uses premium cacao beans. It melts smoothly, making it ideal for specialty candy making and molding. When tempered and cooled, it forms an elegant glossy finish.
Ultra Couverture Chocolate is equal in quality to couverture chocolate, but with an even higher cocoa butter content. Due to the higher cocoa butter content and very low viscosity, it is the perfect chocolate for dipping and enrobing. Few manufacturers are able to successfully produce this type of chocolate because of the difficulty in balancing the higher cocoa butter content while retaining superb taste and texture. When tempered and cooled, it forms a thin and elegant glossy shell.

Health Benefits of Chocolate

chocolate benefits and goodnessMany of us usually thinks that chocolate is Bad, its sweet and might destroy your teeth. I’ll help you know the truth about Chocolate.

Chocolate is 100% Veg. as it comes from a bean of a plant named Cacao. Now as it comes from a plant, benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals, which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries). Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body.

(Published in Hindustan Times) New research suggests that eating about two chocolate bars a week could help reduce your risk of stroke. Announced on October 10, the new Swedish study supports previous research in men and women. “The protection started at more than 45 grams [about 1.5ounces] a week,” said researcher Susanna C Larsson, PhD, of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, in a statement.

In the study, the group eating the most chocolate (about 2.3 ounces a week) got the most benefit, reducing stroke risks by 20 percent, stated the researchers.

The research is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. While prior research has discovered a link between eating chocolate and reduced stroke risk, the study discovered that those subjects who ate the most chocolate were protected a bit more from strokes caused by haemorrhage than strokes caused by obstruction such as blood clots, although the researchers aren’t exactly sure why.

Earlier research has established a link between cocoa-based confections and lowered blood pressure or improvement in blood flow, often attributed to antioxidants. One study announced this summer found that in 1,00,000 patients, with and without heart disease, those who ate the most chocolate had a 37 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease.

But don’t get too excited. The findings come with an important caveat: the healthful molecules are found in the bitter cacao, not in the sugar and fat with which they are routinely combined. So, to gain healthy benefits from chocolate, opt for a good quality dark chocolate that is at least 70 percent cocoa, Larsson noted.

 

Not all chocolate is heart healthy. White chocolate, which a Harvard researcher points out is “not really chocolate at all,” and milk chocolate may expand the hips rather than help blood flow. And none of the instant cocoa mixes in the local grocery store contain the flavonoids that improve blood vessel function.

Cacao Vs. Cocoa

Cacao? What is that? Don’t you mean cocoa? And how do you say it anyway? Chocolate linguistics can be confusing. It comes down to this:
The official name of the chocolate tree is Theobroma cacao but, some experts say, over the years the word “cacao” became Anglicized, and probably through error, people started replacing it with the word “cocoa”. (Most of us grew up saying cocoa bean, not cacao bean.)
Now, with the rebirth of old-style, artisanal chocolate there is a movement to reclaim the bean’s rightful name: cacao (pronounced Ka-Kow).

Used Interchangeably
It is very common to see the words used interchangeably and most of the international trade organizations, like the World Cocoa Foundation, use the word “cocoa.” But it is generally agreed among chocolate experts that the correct term for referring to the beans is “cacao” while the right word for the powder made from them is “cocoa.”
The Difference
Cacao: pronounced Ka-Kow. Refers to the tree, its pods and the beans inside.
Cocoa: pronounced Koh-Koh. Refers to two by-products of the cacao bean – cocoa powder and cocoa butter. Both are extracted from the bean when it is processed in the factory.
Understanding The Label
Often you will see packages labeled now with “% cacao.” What that refers to is the percentage of cacao bean solids present in the bar. There is an inverse relationship between the percentage of cacao in a bar and the amount of sugar. So:
• A 75% cacao bar has 25% sugar.
• A 65% cacao bar has 35% sugar.
• The higher the % cacao, the less sweet the bar and the stronger the chocolate taste.