THE MYSTERY BEHIND DARK CHOCOLATES
By: Boateng Valice Godstime
Chocolates are made from roasted and ground cacao seed kernels that are available as a liquid,
solid, or paste, either on their own or as a flavoring agent in other foods. Cacao has been
consumed in some form since at least the Olmec civilization (19th-11th century BCE), and the
majority of Mesoamerican people ─ including the Maya and Aztecs ─ made chocolate
The cacao tree seeds have an intense bitter taste and must be fermented to develop the flavor,
after which the seeds are dried, cleaned, and roasted. The shells are then removed to produce
cocoa nibs, which are then ground to cocoa mass; unadulterated chocolate in rough form. Once
the cocoa mass is liquefied by heating, it is called chocolate liquor. The liquor may also be
cooled and processed into its two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter.
Talking more on dark chocolates and their
Dark chocolate has been linked to various
health benefits including;
● Reduced risk of heart disease and
stroke. One study found that eating one to
two servings of dark chocolate per week can
reduce the risk of heart disease by 32% and
stroke by as much as 50%.
● Improved cognitive function. Several studies have shown that consuming dark chocolate
can improve cognitive function in adults, including memory, attention, and reaction
● A lower risk of diabetes mellitus. One study found that people who eat dark chocolate
have a lower risk of developing diabetes mellitus. However, dark chocolate also contains a significant amount of sugar and saturated fat, which
can contribute to weight gain and other health problems. These include
● Increasing your chances of having kidney stones. According to the University Of
Maryland Medical Center, dark chocolate has oxalates in it. This can cause an increase in
urinary oxalate excretion, which can increase your risk of forming kidney stones.
● Dark chocolates also contain a natural chemical called tyramine. Tyramine is thought to
possibly trigger migraine headaches by facilitating a chain reaction which results in selective cerebral vasoconstriction followed by rebound dilatation of the cranial blood
vessels. This sequence of events is seen in migraine headaches.
● Dark chocolate has higher caffeine content than both milk chocolate and white
chocolate. Consuming large amounts of dark chocolate can lead to an increased heart
rate, diarrhea, anxiety, irritability, nervousness, and dehydration. Caffeine can also cause
an increase in blood pressure and difficulty in focus or concentration.
Overall, dark chocolate can be part of a healthy diet, but it is important to be aware of its
potential risks and to consume it in moderation.
The health benefits of dark chocolate. Complete
article.www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/20847735. Accessed January 31, 2016.Tkaczuk-Włach J,
Wojdak-Szulc B. Antioxidative activity of cocoa.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26580762. Accessed February 1, 2016.