Chocolate is a food made from a cocoa tree that is well known for its delicious taste. We use chocolate to make ice cream, chocolate drink, cake, and etc. This sweet and brown-colored food is the favorite food for a lot of people. Do you also like chocolate so much? Then this article is important for you.
If you like chocolate so much to the point that you always wanted it for your daily diet, the term ‘chocoholic’ might fit for you. A chocoholic is a person who craves for any food made from chocolate, such as ice cream, brownies, kit-kat, or others. Before you decide whether or not you should love chocolate, it is important to know is chocolate good for our body or not. We know that, for example, consuming too much sweet might cause diabetes or a toothache. Does consume chocolate too much can damage us?
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Let’s find out what is inside a chocolate first, and then find out what its effects for us. Below, you will find a list of chemicals that are inside a chocolate food. In general, this chemical compound will always present at every chocolate food that you consume. So, let’s take a look at list of chemicals in chocolate:
The first list of chemicals in chocolate is Anandamide, a chemical compound also known as N-arachidonoylethanolamine. The name ananda is taken from Pali & Sanksrit word, ananda, that means joy, bliss or delight. This chemical compound is actually a fatty acid neurotransmitter that comes from the derivation of arachidonic acid via non-oxidative metabolism.
Anandamide chemical formula is C22H37NO2. It has 347.53 g/mol molar mass. In our body, anandamide will get degraded by the fatty acid amide hydrolase enzyme. Anandamide will be converted into ethanolamine and arachidonic acid.
In human, anandamide can bring benefits for our body. It can inhibit the proliferation of cancer cell that can cause breast cancer. Another research, according to Wikipedia, suggests that an increase of anandamide levels would help to reduce anxiety and depression.
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Flavonoids are a group of nutrient that includes almost 6000 chemicals as their members. Some of the most famous flavonoids are catechins, anthocyanidins, and kaempferol. Flavonoids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and also can support cardiovascular and nervous systems. Catechins, one of the most famous flavonoids can be found in green tea, while the tangeretin, can be found in tangerines. You can find flavonoids in other foods. In this case, we will talk about flavonoids in a chocolate.
Chocolate contains high levels of flavonoids. Dark chocolate, for example, contains four times many catechins than a tea. In other words, consuming chocolate can increase the number of flavonoids in your body.
Phenethylamine is an organic compound that is a central nervous system stimulant in human. Its chemical formula is C8H11N, which has 121.18g/mol and 0.9640 g/cm3 density. Phenethylamine has a low melting point, which is -60 degree Celsius and relatively high melting point, which is 195 degree Celsius.
This list of chemicals in chocolate belongs to the natural monoamine alkaloid group. It has other names, such as beta-phenylethylamine, or 2-phenylethane-1-1-amine. Its function is a neurotransmitter in our central nervous system, or as an amonoaminergic neuromodulator. It is biosynthesized via aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase.
Phenethylamine is produced by a lot of species. Plant, animal, fungi, bacteria (such as Lactobacillus, Clostridium, Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas), and human, produced it inside their own body. One of the benefits from phenethylamine is it can act as an antimicrobial against certain pathogenic strains of E. coli. It will also stimulate some part of our brains to keep being active and also mimic the brains chemistry of a person who falls in love with someone.
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Polyphenols are a structural class of organic, synthetic, natural or semi-synthetic chemicals that have a large multiple of phenol as its units. The characteristics of these phenol structures and its number will underlie the properties of particular members of the class. Polyphenols examples include ellagitannin and tannic acid. This chemical group is packed with antioxidants that are beneficial to human health.
Polyphenols have a wide range of use. In the Indian subcontinent, traditionally, polyphenols in the form of pomegranate peel that has high tannins and other polyphenols, is used as dyes for non-synthetic fabrics. Tannins were traditionally used for tanning leather, and in the recent development, also used to produce plastics or resins by polymerization.
Polyphenols play an important role in plants. Some of the polyphenols roles in plants include suppression and also release of growth hormone such as auxin, UV protection to protects against ionizing radiation and also provide coloration, prevents microbial infections and also acts as signaling molecules in the growth processes.
In humans, polyphenols are suggested to help in digestion issues treatment, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative disease, diabetes, and also weight management difficulties. However, consuming polyphenols in the form of diet supplements might cause an interference in the process of iron absorption in our body.
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Theobromine is a chemical compound with the chemical formula C7H8N4O2 with 180.164 g/mol molar mass. It belongs to the xanthine alkaloid group, alongside theophylline and caffeine. Theobromine, formerly called as xantheose, is the bitter alkaloid part of the cacao plant. We can found it in chocolate, as well as in other plants or foods, such as in the leaves of the tea plant, the kola nut, or others.
Theobromine is a crystalline with a white or colorless appearance that is slightly soluble in water. It has a similar effect to caffeine in our nervous system, but its effect is lesser than caffeine does. It is an isomer of paraxanthine and theophylline. In addition to that theobromine is classified as a dimethyl xanthine.
In humans, theobromine can act as a diuretic, heart stimulant, and also a blood vessel widener or vasodilator. Because of this, we can use theobromine to increase our urine production, so that it can reduce our blood pressure. If you have a high blood pressure, taking theobromine regularly might help you to reduce it and have a healthy blood pressure. We can also use theobromine to take care of edema, degenerative angina, or syphilitic angina. In addition to that, theobromine also improves the hardness of tooth enamel, which in return, might increase resistance to early tooth decay.
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Caffeine is a central nervous systems stimulant that comes from the methylxanthine chemical class, Just like theobromine. It is maybe the most popular psychoactive drug, mainly consumed via a drink of coffee, tea, or cola. We can found it in the nuts, leaves, or seeds of plants native to South America or East Asia. Its effects are stronger compared to theobromine. However, the amount of caffeine in a chocolate is less than the amount of theobromine.
Caffeine chemical formula is C8H10N4O2. It has 194.19 molar mass and 1.23 g/cm3 molecular density. This white crystalline purine has a bitter taste. It is a methylxanthine alkaloid chemical, that is chemically related to the guanine or adenine base of ribonucleic acid or deoxyribonucleic acid. The main advantage of caffeine is to relieve or prevent drowsiness and also increase our performance.
Caffeine can increase our reaction time, wakefulness, motor coordination and also concentration. However, the amount of caffeine to produce this result is different from person to person, depending on their degree of caffeine tolerance and also body size. Caffeine can prevent sleep, or delay it, resulting in an improved task performance during sleep deprivation. Shift workers who usually work at night, make a fewer mistake due to drowsiness because of caffeine consumption.
In medical fields, doctors use caffeine to treat and prevent bronchopulmonary dysplasia in premature infants. In the therapy, the babies weight might improve. It could also reduce the risk of cerebral palsy as well as reduce cognitive and language acquisition delay. Doctors also use caffeine as the main treatment for apnea of prematurity and orthostatic hypotension.
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- Fructose and Glucose (Sugar)
Chocolate is sweet, and that happens because chocolate contains a lot of glucose and fructose, or simply said a sugar. Because of this, it is extremely important not to consume sugar a lot in a short time because it can cause a sudden rise of sugar level in our blood. A sudden change of blood sugar level will result in a migraine, or in the long term, might increase the risk of getting diabetes. It will also affect our cardiovascular activities. In other words, you should not consume sugar too much even if you love it as much as you love your partner.
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Other than those 7 chemicals, in a chocolate, such as milk chocolate, you can also find these chemicals compound (per 100g of milk chocolate) This more list of chemicals in chocolate:
|Vitamin A||195 IU|
|Thiamin (B1)||0.1 mg||9%|
|Riboflavin (B2)||0.3 mg||25%|
|Niacin (B3)||0.4 mg||3%|
|Vitamin B6||0.0 mg||0%|
|Folate (B9)||11 μg||3%|
|Vitamin B12||0.7 μg||29%|
|Vitamin C||0 mg||0%|
|Vitamin E||0.5 mg||3%|
|Vitamin K||5.7 μg||5%|
So that is the list of chemicals in chocolate. Some of them might be quite useful for us. However, if we consume it too much, it might cause something terrible to happen. Even if you love chocolate so much, you should not take too much of it. In the end, eat caffeine at the right time and eat it healthily.
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