Chocolate: Of so many contradictory studies, which should you believe?
It's World Chocolate Day today, a much-awaited day for many. After all, how many would say no to a chocolate?
Dominos UK marked the day by launching a chocolate pizza!
But on this occasion, allow us to tell you when exactly this heavenly treat becomes a threat. (FYI, the latest trend is 'chocolate snorting')
So here's how you can keep your chocolate obsession risk-free.
World Chocolate Day: What's good, what's bad
The latest fad: snorting
The latest offering in the chocolate world is Coco Loko: a "snortable" xxx containing cacao powder, taurine, gingko biloba and guarana - common energy drink components.
It's not selling out like fire, but people are curious, especially in hip-hop communities and college campuses.
It could block the sinuses!
According to the website, effects last from 30-60 minutes, and can include endorphin rush, serotonin rush and a calm focus.
But can you imagine the risks of inserting solid material into the nose? It could get stuck in there, or mix with mucus to form a paste that can block the sinuses.
PS: It hasn't been approved by the FDA.
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No research to prove post-workout recovery with chocolate either
Let's move to the common belief that chocolate helps in post-workout recovery. The idea can be traced to a 2006 study.
It claimed chocolate milk is the best in post-workout phase. But it was funded by the Dairy and Nutrition Council (bias), and only nine men were studied.
Another 2015 study said cyclists performed better after eating chocolate daily. Again, only eight were studied.
An icky, 'buggy' fact
Last month, an American insect control company, Terro, revealed its findings that nearly 1,30,000 insect fragments are found in common items of human consumption: about 6,000 of those in chocolate! Just like lead cannot be completely eliminated from food, these can't be either.
No, chocolate isn't an aphrodisiac either
Several 'studies' claim chocolate is an aphrodisiac: in reality, women who eat chocolate regularly report being more sexually fulfilled, but there's no strong evidence of it actually stimulating desire.
Short-term effects of chocolate also include Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Now, here's some good about chocolates
But fret not, there are still reasons to gift a bar to your significant other this Chocolate Day. Recent research claims regular consumption of chocolate actually improves brain function.
Little quantities eaten daily can lessen blood pressure by a small margin, facilitating relaxed blood flow.
Chocolate has also been found to lower risk of stroke, heart attacks and irregular heart rhythm.
So should you have chocolates, or shouldn't you?
The world of chocolate is too big to ever arrive at an objective conclusion. Maybe it has risks, maybe not. As long as you consume it in appropriate amounts, you should be good.
So here's a dish for you to try out this Chocolate Day: the Mexican mole poblano combines two favorites - chocolate and chicken. Should be enough to keep your fingers licking!
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