7 Delicious Health Benefits of Chocolate To Lessen Your Guilt
How many times have you been yelled at by your elders for eating chocolates?
“Oh, not-so-many times!”
Clearly, a white lie. We’re not here to add salt to your burned wounds, instead we want you to hold onto your chocolate and never give up.
Chocolate makes for a quintessential item to survive a day. Feeling low? Pick up a chocolate bar! Had a tiring day at work? Get me a chocolate, please! See, it works every single time. Then why do we refrain from or feel guilty about having it?
We’ve always been worried about its calorie count, but no one ever told us about its benefits. Without any doubt, chocolate is one of the most comforting foods. So, let’s keep it that way.
That’s why we’ve decided to bring forth the benefits of chocolate. But there’s a slight twist. Most of its health benefits only apply to dark chocolate variants because they contain a higher percentage of cocoa than the normal ones.
1. Chocolates can boost your energy
Coffee is the first thing that comes to mind when talking about energy booster. After all, it keeps us active throughout the day. However, too much coffee entering our system is not good.
Fortunately, chocolate serves the same purpose except it’s healthier and tastier than coffee. Dark chocolate contains 43 mg of caffeine per 100g – enough to keep you energetic all day.
According to a study, dark chocolate is useful for athletes. It improves the blood flow, which in turn carries oxygen to the muscles rapidly. This gives ability to perform better and go faster on bikes. So next time you are up on a cycle ride challenge, don’t forget to eat your share of chocolate before the race.
2. Chocolates can help you lose weight
Wait, what? Did I read that right? Absolutely!
A recent study conducted by JAMA Internal Medicine in 2012 found that people who ate dark chocolate on a regular basis had a lower BMI than those who didn’t. It’s the effect of healthy calories and saturated fats in chocolate that make the body metabolism work faster, thus keeping BMI in check.
The other theory is that eating chocolates before meal keeps your appetite in control. It can impressively cut up to 50 percent of your regular intake. However, remember that this only applies to dark chocolate due to the presence of cocoa. On the other hand, milk chocolate will raise the blood sugar levels and you’d end up craving for more. So, take a wise decision.
3. Chocolates can make you happy
They literally can! After all, the decadent dark chocolates taste so delicious. But that’s not it. There’s a scientifically proven theory behind this popular accord.
Chocolates contain a chemical component called phenylethylamine (PEA) which is also known as “love chemical”. It stimulates both cognition and mood. Research also shows that dark chocolates contain tryptophan that produces neurotransmitter called serotonin in brain. And when this combines with dopamine that naturally exists in the brain, happy feelings are promoted.
This explains why you crave chocolate when you feel low. A certified mood booster!
4. Chocolates can improve your heart health
Studies have indicated that food derived from cocoa bean such as dark chocolates is considered heart-healthy due to high cocoa content.
According to a study, researchers have found an association between chocolate consumption and a lowered risk for a heart condition known as atrial fibrillation. It occurs due to irregular heartbeat that can lead to heart failure, heart stroke, or other cardiovascular problems. The study involved 55,502 men and women aged between 50 and 64, whose health was monitored for 14 years. It was found that those who ate no chocolate or ate less than once per month had a 10% reduced relative risk for atrial fibrillation and those who had two to six servings of chocolate per week had a 20% lower rate.
Now you know why dark chocolates come with superpowers.
5. Chocolates can slow the ageing process and increase longevity
The secret to the gorgeous skin has been revealed. Chocolates contain flavonoids which have the ability to slow down the ageing process. Apart from that, they also act as filters to harmful UV rays, thus protecting you against sun damage.
Dark chocolates contain antioxidant that can fight free radical damage caused by pollutants and ongoing normal biochemical reactions in the body. Research has proved that people who eat chocolates regularly have lived longer than others.
Any day, chocolates are a stress-buster, which ultimately helps us stay young and fresh.
6. Chocolates can help cure constipation
One of the benefits of chocolate is that it can help you get rid of constipation. It’s loaded with fibre and important minerals such as zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium.
A whopping 11 grams of soluble fibre can be found per 100-gram bar of dark chocolate. Fibre cleanses the intestine and speeds up bowel movements, thus curing constipation.
Get your dose of fibre by indulging in the deliciousness of dark chocolates.
7. Chocolates can potentiate other superfoods
Cocoa is the magical substance. It acts as a delivery system for other superfoods. It helps the body to effectively absorb the essential nutrients in the body. And as we all know, dark chocolates have a rich quantity of cocoa.
Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds – polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, amongst others – that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. As chocolate dilates the blood vessels, these are all better absorbed in the body.
Conclusion: Keep it at a moderate level
Remember, an excess of anything is bad. That holds true for chocolates too. Sticking to just one or two pieces a day can prove to be healthy.
So there you are. Now that you know the benefits of chocolate, you can enjoy guilt-free and stay healthy.
Wouldn’t you want to spread happiness around? Share this blog with your friends and family and let’s see what they have to say about it.
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