Health benefits of eating chocolate
Dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health.Made from the seed of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet.Studies show that dark chocolate can improve your health and lower the risk of heart disease.Chocolate is the ultimate comfort food, a sure-fire stand-by in times of stress, a reliable source of consolation when life has let us down, and a mood-enhancer and romance-inducer in more positive circumstances.
1. Chocolate reduces the likelihood of a heart attack Studies show that eating chocolate prevents blood clots, which in turn reduces the risk of heart attacks. Blood platelets clump together more slowly in chocolate eaters.
2. Manages Diabetes Dark and sugar-free chocolate (cocoa) is very bitter to taste due to the presence of alkaloids like caffeine and others. The bitterness of these alkaloids neutralizes the sugar in the blood. Moreover, being a stimulant in nature, they stimulate the secretion of bile and insulin, which again help to break down the sugar, resulting in lower blood sugar levels.
3. Regulates Blood Pressure Flavonoids in cocoa contain polyphenols like catechins, epicatechins, and procyanidins, which have been seen to increase nitric oxide levels in the blood, which helps in maintaining proper blood pressure. Nitric oxide helps to prevent thickening of the blood and maintaining fluidity, thereby decreasing pressure on the arteries and veins and finally regulating blood pressure.On the other hand, in case of people suffering from low blood pressure, the stimulants like caffeine and theobromine, as well as the sugar present in chocolate, helps elevate blood pressure to correct levels.
4. Weight Loss Researchers from the University of Copenhagen found that dark chocolate is far more filling, offering more of a feeling of satiety than its lighter-colored sibling. That is, dark chocolate lessens cravings for sweet, salty, and fatty foods. So if indulging in a bit of healthy dark chocolate should not only make it easy for you to stick to the small portion recommended for optimal health, but it should make it easier for you to stick to your diet in general.
5. It can help to avoid sunburn A study conducted in London found that women who were given chocolate with a high flavanol content were able to withstand double the amount of UV light on their skins without burning, compared to those on lower doses.
6. It may help improve your memory as you get older. Research has shown that when elderly people were given specially prepared cocoa extracts which was high in flavanols, their cognitive function greatly improved. The only problem is that when it comes to eating chocolate, the percentage of those cocoa flavanols is much reduced due to the processing and the addition of eggs, sugar and milk.
7. Could Improve Brain Function
The good news isn’t over yet. Dark chocolate may also improve the function of your brain.One study of healthy volunteers showed that eating high-flavanol cocoa for five days improved blood flow to the brain. Cocoa may also significantly improve cognitive function in elderly people with mental impairment. It may improve verbal fluency and several risk factors for disease, as well.