Hold the phone, chocolate is healthy for you? We all love that sweet chocolatey goodness and while we all say we should stay clear of the sweets, we actually should be having a little chocolate in our daily lives.
Here are 8 benefits of dark chocolate.
Chocolate dates back to the Mayans, actually believed it was the food of the gods and drank it as a bitter fermented beverage mixed with spices or wine. Now, you can’t just pick up some chocolate and assume it will be healthy for you, only dark chocolate can improve your health because it is made with very little sugar and milk and is the most natural form of cocoa. Chocolate above 75% or 80% cocoa is the healthy stuff.
1. Right at the Heart
Cocoa is rich in plant chemicals called flavanols that may help to protect the heart. Dark chocolate contains up to 2-3 times more flavanol-rich cocoa solids than milk chocolate. Flavanols have been shown to support the production of nitric oxide in the endothelium, the inner cell lining of blood vessels, that helps to relax the blood vessels and improve blood flow, thereby lowering blood pressure
Other observational studies suggest a link between high cocoa or chocolate intake of 6 grams daily, 1-2 small squares, and a reduced risk of heart disease and mortality, possibly in part by reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
2. Reduce Diabetes
When you consume too much sugar, your body produces insulin to try to get the serum Dark chocolate can help to improve your sensitivity to insulin, making it easier for your body to control blood sugar levels. By preventing insulin resistance, you can effectively reduce your risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
Remember that diabetes is caused by excessively glucose sugar in your bloodstream under control. Long-term high insulin production can cause your body to become desensitized to the hormone, making it more difficult to keep glucose at manageable levels. Obesity also increases insulin resistance, increasing your risk of diabetes.
3. It suppresses your appetite
More specifically, it can satisfy your food cravings and sweet tooth. A study found that dark chocolate is more filling than milk chocolate, and it can help to reduce your cravings for fatty, sweet, and salty foods. According to neuroscientist Will Clower, a small portion of chocolate before your meal can cause your body to produce leptin, the hormone that sends signals to your brain that your body is satiated
4. Great for your skin
Contrary to what you may believe that chocolate makes you break out, One of the great things about cocoa beans is that they are packed with antioxidants–polyphenols, flavonoids, and others. Not even blueberries and Acai berries, two of the most antioxidant-rich foods around, had more antioxidant activity than raw, unprocessed cocoa beans. Pretty awesome, right? There are many benefits of these antioxidants, but one of the primary benefits is their ability to protect your skin. The result is skin better-protected from the UV radiation in sunlight.
5. Chocolate makes you Smarter
Want to be a genius? Chocolate may not turn you into an Einstein overnight, but it can certainly give your brain a boost! Improving circulation can actually benefit your brain power. Your brain, like all the other parts of your body, requires oxygen and nutrients to survive and thrive. The result: better brain function. Chocolate contains small quantities caffeine and theobromine, two substances that help to reduce fatigue and enhance brain function.
6. Helps to fight Cholesterol
Cholesterol can be one of your enemies, it clogs u your arteries, reduces your blood flow, and can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. Low-density lipoproteins are the fat cells that cling to your arterial walls, harden, and restrict blood flow. If your doctor is worried about your cholesterol levels, it’s definitely time to add a bit of dark chocolate to your diet.
7. Great for pregnant women
Pregnancy can be a pretty stressful time, what with all the changes to your body, your routine, and your life. But never fear, chocolate is here! Women who ate chocolate during their pregnancy reported lower levels of stress and anxiety. The babies born to those women were not only more active, but they smiled and laughed more than the babies born to women who did not eat chocolate. The babies also exhibited less fear of the new situation.
8. It just makes you feel good
You ever wonder why you have those rough days and chocolate always has your back? Caffeine/theobromine These two nutrients not only improve cognitive function, but they can boost your mood and make you feel better. Seretonin, the body’s magical hormone. Chocolate stimulates the production of serotonin, the “feel-good” chemical that improves your emotional state and helps to deal with the moody blues. Phenylethylamine PEA is a chemical created by your brain when you “feel in love”. Thanks to the PEA in chocolate, you get that same happy feeling with every bite.