Chocolate: A world of health benefits and a symbol of love
Source: ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller for Nestlé Middle East , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Tue February 13, 2018 2:22 pm

UAE. Are you one of those who wonder why chocolate is the favorite way to express love? It is simply an edible declaration of love that makes people all over the world feel special and rewarded. We all agree that chocolate is an indulgent product that looks, feels and tastes heavenly.

This luscious piece of decadence not only melts in our mouth but also melts our hearts in bliss. But there’s more to it than just that, chocolate also has healthy ingredient that you can make the best out of. Maria Baghdoyan, Nestlé Middle East Nutritionist defines it from scratch.

Cocoa; the main ingredient in chocolate; has many health benefits; one of which is its richness in Magnesium and more antioxidants than most foods.

There are 3 main kinds of chocolate:

• Dark Chocolate ==> The healthier option to indulgence. Dark chocolate is simply chocolate liquor (the centers of cocoa beans ground to a liquid), cocoa butter, sugar and other flavorings. Cocoa content generally ranges between 70%-90%
• Milk Chocolate ==> The most common kind of eaten chocolate. It’s usually made with similar ingredients to Dark chocolate with the addition of dry milk solids and has at least 10% cocoa. Sugar content would differ from one product to the other based on the percentages of cocoa and milk.
• White Chocolate ==> Cocoa butter is the hero ingredient and not milk. Containing 0% cocoa, at least 20% cocoa butter, 14% milk solids, and about 55% sugar.

The health benefits to dark chocolate are no secret!

The Darker the Chocolate, the Higher the Benefits. Any type that has 70% cocoa or more carries high amounts of flavonoids; powerful antioxidants found in foods like fruits, broccoli and even tea; that help protect the body against some diseases.

Photo: Chocolate benefits

 Moreover, due to its high content of flavonoids; eating dark chocolate may actually lower blood pressure and help reduce the accumulation of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the arteries; therefore supports heart health.

And of course, no one can deny the ongoing relationship between emotions and chocolate and that is because:
-  It Lifts Up Your Mood. Aside from the smell and taste that awakens feel-good areas in the brain; chocolate also stimulates the production of “serotonin”; the brain’s natural anti-depressant.

To lift up the guilt occasionally; it may relieve you to know that chocolate also can make a Good Snack but moderation and portion control are key to make the best out of its healthy ingredients. You can always opt for the mini versions of your favorite varieties that are portion controlled and couple them with a cup of coffee or low fat milk to have a balanced snack and indulge wisely while keeping physical activity top of mind. If you have a preference for bigger portioned varieties; sharing is caring!

Be at ease with indulging in a bit of your favorite chocolate or surprising your loved one with some of his/hers. After all, the key to a healthier and happier life is a balance diet, piece of mind and lots of love!

Did You Know?
To burn off one mini chocolate with an average of 100 kcal; you can do any of the following activities:
- Fast Walking ==> 20 min.
- Cycling ==> 25 min.
- Swimming ==> 15 min.
- Zumba ==> 10 minutes

Photo Captions:
1. (above)  Maria Baghdoyan, Nestlé Middle East Nutritionist
2. (inset)  For illustrative purposes only (File photo)

About Nestlé Middle East
Nestlé Middle East’s heritage goes back over 80 years to 1934 when the first import operation was set up in Lebanon. Today, Nestlé Middle East owns and operates 18 factories and provides direct employment to more than 13,000 employees who are all committed to Nestlé’s purpose of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. It also provides indirect employment to several thousand more.

The Nestlé portfolio in the region currently exceeds 60 innovative product brands in a wide range of categories: dairy products and infant nutrition, bottled water, chocolate and confectionery, coffee creamers, breakfast cereals, culinary products, health science, skin health, and Pet Care, among others. Nestlé Nido, Nestlé NAN, S-26, Progress, Maggi, Nescafé, Kit Kat, Coffeemate, Nestlé Cerelac, Nestlé Fitness, Nestlé Pure Life, Nespresso, Optifast and Cetaphil are just some of the brands available in the Middle East.

For more on Nestlé Middle East activities, you can visit the following social media pages:
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