STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The Villas of Manalapan, N.J., is praising chocolate for its health benefits.
In discussing the attributes of chocolate, the independent- and assisted-living senior community near Staten Island refers to the cacao bean-derived delight as a superfood rich in antioxidants, minerals, and unique phytochemicals.
According to nutrition experts at the posh senior community, chocolate’s antioxidants and flavonoids are known to boost the immune system and provide cardiovascular benefits.
Cacao is mineral-rich, specifically in magnesium, an essential mineral for your brain, bones, muscles, and heart. Other important nutrients found in cacao are manganese, copper, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin C, and selenium.
Unique phytochemicals are found in cacao, as well. Theobromine, for example, creates energy without the jitteriness associated with caffeine. It has cardiovascular benefits and is anti-inflammatory, and studies have shown it improves mood, induces calmness, and enhances cognition.
Another special phytochemical, anandamide, is nicknamed the “bliss molecule” because it creates feelings of joy and happiness. It also helps regulate inflammation, neuron signaling, and neurogenesis – the formation of new nerve cells in the brain.
Cacao also contains tryptophan, which is the precursor to serotonin. Serotonin positively affects mood, cognition, and behavior.
Many healing benefits have been connected to cacao, such as: Improving depression; balancing hormones; improving blood circulation and lowering blood pressure; protecting the heart; improving digestion; shifting emotional blockages; raising libido; improving memory and focus; improving mood; boosting immunity; increasing energy levels; reducing appetite; increasing metabolism, and increasing creativity and productivity.
THE DARKER, THE BETTER
Cacao is processed and created into chocolate. The less processed and darker the chocolate, the more benefits it provides.
Experts at The Villas suggest finding a chocolate that lists the percent of chocolate, which is the food item’s percentage derived straight from cacao beans. Aim for over 70 percent; if this is too bitter, start with 55 percent and adjust your tastebuds upward.
Pay attention to the other ingredients in your chocolate too, especially sugar.
Savor your chocolate. Eat it slowly; really enjoy the flavors and imagine the healing benefits going into your body.
About the Villas
The Villas is an upscale, world class resort-inspired apartment community offering a range of amenities and services sensitive to the lifestyle, health and daily needs of seniors. Orchestrated by Hackensack Meridian Health, the complex is uniquely focused on wellness and prevention – and ideal for singles and couples alike. The luxurious 100,000-square-foot community offers a unique arrangement of supervision and increased healthcare with onsite physician services. Embracing independent-living, assisted-living, skilled-nursing and memory-care needs on specialized floors, the Villas eliminates the need to relocate elsewhere due to health issues, allowing couples to remain together in a comforting, well-managed, posh environment. The Villas is located at 289 Gordons Corner Road, Manalapan, NJ 07726. For information, or to schedule a tour, the Villas may be reached at 732-847-3920, contacted via www.villashmh.com/contact, and visited online at www.villashmh.com.
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