Chocolate and Chocotheraphy: the sweetest way to feel better

Are you a chocolate lover? Can’t resist a slice of bread spread with a cocoa cream? You’re in good company! It is estimated that today the annual production of cocoa reaches about 4.9 million tons and that we are very close to consuming more cocoa than we will be able to produce.

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Yet, if it is known that chocolate rewards our palate and has the power to improve our mood, it is our body that is threatened by the extra pounds that we will accumulate with excessive consumption.

But it’s time to clarify and explain how in some cases chocolate also becomes an excellent ally of our well-being, not only the psyche but also in the physical

The benefits of chocolate

From those who need to relax to those who need an energy injection or are looking for a remedy to fight stress or depression, chocolate (particularly dark chocolate) is a valid solution with guaranteed effects.

The therapeutic value of chocolate, the high content of antioxidants, mineral salts, iron, potassium, and anti-free radicals present in chocolate are excellent allies of our physical and mental balance. Eating chocolate puts us in a good mood due to the serotonin, the hormone of the good mood that freeing endorphins in the body helps us to improve the mood.

The antioxidant action of chocolate rich in polyphenols has considerable beneficial effects on the skin: From the chemical point of view, antioxidant substances are molecules that prevent or slow down the phenomenon of oxidation in cells, which produces free radicals that can damage some structures of the skin. The function of antioxidant molecules is to protect cells from the action of free radicals. Polyphenols and flavonoids are natural antioxidants. The latter also help to improve the degree of elasticity of the arteries by reducing the risk of hypertension and arteriosclerosis.

Chocolate is an ally of our skin also acting as a photoprotector against UV rays. The effects of flavonoids on the body are to improve memory, learning and cognitive functions. Chocolate is therefore a friend of the brain and the nervous system as a whole. In addition, the fact that it contributes to the secretion of serotonin makes it also considered a real natural antidepressant, therefore recommended when you feel a bit ‘down or energy-free.

Finally, dark chocolate contains substances that can help prevent caries. These are tannins, fluorides, and phosphates which are rich in bitter cocoa.

The chocotherapy

chocolateChocolate is not only one of the world’s favorite foods. Its benefits are manifold even if instead of eating it we use it for wellness theraphy.

In chocolate are present polyphenol flavonoids and caffeine perfect to stimulate energize and treat body parts such as back and face through the practice of chocolate massages. But not only that, chocolate massages are excellent in reducing cellulite, annoying fat pads, and the first signs of age.

Chocolate during treatment must be hot enough to allow the skin pores to dilate and absorb the active ingredients derived from cocoa, often combined with cocoa oils. For this purpose, it is useful that the massage is preceded by Turkish bath, sauna, or whirlpool or detoxifying peeling.

The tannins and polyphenols of which cocoa is rich come into action through the massage countering the excessive production of free radicals we have already talked about.

Excellent in anti-cellulite treatments thanks to theobromine, which acts on water retention by restoring the flow of fluids in the lymphatic system, while the revitalizing massage stimulates muscle tone.

To give a fresher look to your skin an excellent solution is a chocolate massage exfoliating the micro granules present in cocoa,  combined with honey and cayenne pepper, are an excellent natural peeling that eliminates the layer of dead skin gently and without contraindications. Moreover, against dry skin, the emollient properties contained in cocoa butter lipids moisturize and nourish deeply penetrating optimally through massage.

Very pleasant and effective is a chocolate bath that is made by melting cocoa powder in water. The presence of numerous active ingredients and natural fats makes chocolate particularly nourishing for the skin, which restores optimal hydration.

However, it is difficult to resist the temptation to taste this delight during the massage, for this reason, a small chocolate tasting is always allowed!

A curiosity

Italy is one of the main consumers of chocolate and in Italy, exactly in Perugia, there is the only hotel in the world dedicated to chocolate. The rooms are divided into three peculiar floors: milk, gianduia and dark chocolate with  very tasty furniture!

The flagship is the Choco Sweet Suite where you will find an infinite amount of chocolate, literally scattered in every corner of the room. The rooms are characterized by “tasty” furnishings such as the Choco-desk or bedspread with the word chocolate written in all languages of the world. In the hall, a fully stocked Chocostore where you can find every kind of chocolate sweetness in addition to various products inspired by it.

 Let’s move on to practice

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Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

Are you curious to try the beneficial effects of a chocolate massage but you don’t know who to turn to? Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to make it at home in a simple way. Get these ingredients:

  •  600 gr. extra dark chocolate
  •  4 drops of lavender or bergamot oil
  •  3 drops of rosemary oil

At this point break the chocolate into small pieces and dissolve it in a water bath, pour it into a bowl and add the fragrant oil, stir well keeping it at a constant warm temperature, pour it on the part of the body from which you want to start the massage. Start with circular movements by making a slight pressure.

To increase the relaxing effect it is advisable to create the right atmosphere by lighting some candles and putting in the background your favorite music.

After the massage, take 15 minutes to relax and finish with a hot shower, without the use of detergents, to prolong the beneficial effect of chocolate.

And if you really want to end up great, treat yourself to a cup of hot chocolate!

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