Chocolate Health Benefits You Never Thought About
It is a known fact that you should eat healthy dark chocolate. Let's face it: what is there not to like? It is sweet, delicious, and rich and it can do a lot more for you than mend the pieces of a broken heart. The secret lies in the properties of cacao, which is rich in healthy nutrients, such as theobromine and flavonols.
The only problem is that if you add sugar, butter, and milk, the chocolate benefits decrease and they also add more calories. In order to make the best of the benefits without adding too many calories, you should stick with dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cacao.
Health Benefits of Chocolate That Might Make You Eat Even More of This Sweet Delight Than You Did until Now
So, what are the dark chocolate benefits that you should make sure not to miss out on? Is it really worth for you to have some chocolate?
1. It's all about your heart
And you better keep that one healthy
According to the latest findings regarding the benefits of chocolate, it can fight off cardiovascular diseases. These studies show that the women who consumed dark chocolate on a regular basis cut their chances of heart failure by 30%. A study conducted in Germany suggests that by having one square of dark chocolate, women can lower the chances of stroke and heart attack by 39% and they can also lower their blood pressure. This is supposed to be the effect of the flavonols, a potent antioxidant that increases the flexibility of the arteries and veins. Being allowed to eat chocolate doesn't mean that you don't have to exercise. As a matter of fact, exercise and chocolate work very well together.
Improved blood flow
The benefit of dark chocolate being heart-healthy is its ability to improve blood flow. More chocolate means more blood flowing throughout your body to your brain, experts say. With improved blood flow, you would be able to perform tasks better than you would have before. Who could have thought that the benefits of chocolate would be so extensive? Our health is of primary concern, and cocoa is the main feel-good ingredient that can do no wrong in our diets.
2. Losing weight
You know you want to believe it
The truth is that women don't really think about weight loss when it comes to the chocolate health benefits. Nonetheless, apparently, there is a possibility to lose weight while still having some dark chocolate and it might be easier than you would have thought. The studies suggest that dark chocolate is more filling than milk chocolate. In the same time, having some dark chocolate will lessen the cravings for sweet, fatty, or salty foods. This means that you are allowed to have your daily portion of dark chocolate and it will make it easier to stick to your diet.
The obesity cure
If you thought that childhood obesity was spurred on by a child's insatiable appetite to chocolate; think again. It's actually those processed store-brought brands that are doing in the youth these days. There is nothing wrong with having homemade dark chocolate with no sugar added. The benefits actually outweigh the consequences, and losing weight is one of them. If chocolate is what caused your weight gain, then chocolate is what's going to help you lose weight.
3. Preventing diabetes
It's always good to know
We all know that diabetes is one of the major health concerns at the moment. As interesting as it may sound, the benefits of eating chocolate also include the ability to prevent diabetes. The participants of one of the studies had a portion of dark chocolate on a daily basis for 15 days. After the trial period they saw their insulin resistance drop by 50%. The specialists say that this is because the flavonols increase the production of nitric oxide. This helps the body control its insulin sensitivity.
In addition to diabetes, chocolate may also prevent cancer, and even cancer cells' ability to spread to other parts of the body. The ability of chocolate to help prevent many of the world's most lethal illnesses just speaks to the greatness of the cocoa plant and its magical healing properties.
4. Stress reduction
We all need it
For sure you know that when you are under a lot of stress, you tend to eat more chocolate than usual. This is a well-known benefit of chocolate. Specialists claim that this kind of emotional eating might not be as bad as it seems at first. We all know what negative effects stress and cortisol can have on the body. The specialists have found that the people who ate one and a half pounds of dark chocolate on a daily basis for a couple of weeks had lower stress-related hormone levels than their counterparts. In the same time the metabolic effects of stress seem to have been wiped out as well. This means that in case you are going through a breakup, it is always better to eat some dark chocolate than to eat ice cream (no matter how delicious that sounds).
Start your day off right
It shouldn't be hard to come to the conclusion that chocolate is the ultimate good. A bar of chocolate can make us forget all of our worries and just make us feel good in the moment of eating it. Even if just a temporary fix, it has the effect of carrying over into the rest of our day. That is why a small bit of chocolate in the morning is an excellent idea. They say "start your day off right with this nutritious breakfast", but instead substitute cereal with some chocolate. Now that's a good way to start off the day.
5. Boosting brain power
Are your finals over?
If you are looking for the healthiest dark chocolate, look no more: it doesn't matter what kind of dark chocolate you're having, it is healthy. In case you are working on a project and you are stressed about it, just grab a piece of dark chocolate. Aside from protecting you against the negative effects of stress, it will also boost your brain power. A researcher found that drinking cocoa rich in flavonols increases the blood flow to the brain for 2-3 hours which increases brain power on the short-run. Dark chocolate may have a benefice effect on older people as well. Those who consume dark chocolate seem to achieve better scores on cognitive tests.
It affects intelligence
Become a genius in no time: all you need is a healthy regular dose of chocolate that will act to supplement your blood flow throughout your body. Just when you thought the benefit of chocolate could not get any better, your intelligence is affected. Don't risk cutting off your brain to the blood it needs. Eat a lot of chocolate and have the health chocolate benefits of unrestricted blood flow.
6. In case you are coughing
This one is nifty
In case you are thinking about the chocolate benefits and disadvantages, you should know that chocolate seems to help people when they have a cough. As a matter of fact, dark chocolate can quiet the coughs just like codeine because of the theobromine it contains. This is the ingredient that gives people a good feeling about eating chocolate because it suppresses the activity of the vague nerve of the brain. It is known that codeine makes people dull and sleepy, but dark chocolate doesn't seem to have any of these side effects and let's face it: there is nothing better than high quality dark chocolate.
The best medicine
Why consume the artificially-made cough drops when you can have all-natural and rich dark chocolate instead? Something sweet and delicious may be all that you need to temporarily relieve a cold. The value of chocolate as medicine is debatable, but worth a try. After all, it's so inexpensive and widely available to you.
7. Sun protection
Are you looking forward to test this one?
For sure you know you should always wear sunscreen to protect your skin against the harmful rays of the sun. In case you are wondering about the chocolate benefits for skin, you should know that chocolate seems to be able to protect your skin as well. The flavonols found in chocolate protect the skin against sunburn, increase hydration and density, and they also increase the blood flow to the skin. If you are planning on taking a trip to the seaside, you should make sure you eat dark chocolate regularly in the prior weeks and months to protect your skin. The studies suggest that if women eat chocolate, it takes higher doses of UV rays to make any damage to their skin.
Hydrate your skin effectively with chocolate and you will never have to worry about clogged pores again. You might have thought the opposite about chocolate. But it's actually the hydrogenated oils in most chocolate that clogs your pores and makes you break out. But the actual cocoa and milk in chocolate is nothing but good for your skin; especially dark chocolate health.
As you can see, dark chocolate has numerous benefits that you may have never thought of before. However, you should know that benefits of chocolate milk are a lot more limited. Still, if it has added flavonols, you could benefit from most of the advantages.