I don’t know if you jumped for joy like I did when you read that chocolate can be healthy for you, but yes, you have read it right, chocolate has quite a few genuine health benefits! So why is chocolate healthy? Chocolate is made from plants, so chocolate contains similar health benefits to that of certain types of vegetable. The benefits themselves come from the flavonoids that are present in the cocoa. These flavonoids basically act as antioxidants, which protect your body from aging. I don’t know about you, but I decided to look into it more, I mean if chocolate is good for you, then I don’t need to make up an excuse for eating a bar or two.
It has been proven, that for us women, having a little bit of chocolate often actually decreases the chance of having heart disease or a stroke. So, fantastic news girls, chocolate doesn’t just mend a broken heart it has cardiovascular benefits too! A fairly recent study that took place in Germany, discovered that if you had one or two squares of dark chocolate a day, it actually reduces your chance of having a heart attack or stroke by nearly forty percent! This is because the flavonoids present in chocolate help lower the blood pressure, as well as having high inflammation-fighting properties.
Chocolate in the right moderation can actually help you to lose weight – what?! Never! Dark chocolate is actually proven to lessen sweet and salty food cravings and that those of us who eat chocolate regularly, have lower BMI’s than those who scrimp on the sweet luscious stuff. Dark chocolate also makes you feel fuller than milk or white chocolate, so if you’re going to treat yourself to a bar, make sure it is dark chocolate with above seventy percent cocoa – it may go along way to helping you to stick to your diet plan.
Small amounts of dark chocolate can also help lessen the risk of you getting diabetes later in life. Okay, now you are having us on?! No, i’m not. It’s been proven that eating dark chocolate everyday, increases insulin sensitivity in your body, which reduces your risk of having diabetes. Again, it is down to the flavonoids! These flavonoids increase the nitric oxide production in your body and one of the roles played by nitric oxide is to control insulin resistance and sensitivity.
Chocolate also has stress reducing benefits. We all grab a bar of chocolate when we need comfort, but because it tastes so good, right? Well, this is obviously true, but chocolate contains serotonin, which acts as an antidepressant in the body. It also increases the production of endorphins in the body – these are the hormones released during sex that makes us feel pleasure. So, basically, if you’re going to comfort eat, eat some chocolate and not a tub of ice cream or a bag of chips.
Were you always told when you were growing up that, ‘chocolate is bad for your skin.’ Well, studies have shown that eating dark chocolate is good for your complexion, as it protects your delicate skin from the harmful UV sun rays. That said, don’t forget your sunscreen!
Eating dark chocolate that is rich in those health boosting flavonoids increases blood flow to the brain. This in turn not only improves the performance of your brain and your alertness, but it also increases blood flow to your retina, boosting your vision.
So, there you go, chocolate actually has many health properties. Obviously, don’t go overboard and eat a big bar every day or eat nothing but chocolate, but saying no to chocolate all the time could actually be doing you more harm than good. Eat in moderation – the body is designed to have fat, sugar, salt and carbs in it, not just the good, healthy stuff.