Chocolate is known as the “Food of the Gods” not only because it is the tastiest food in the world, but also has a lot of health benefits. Don’t go overboard because it still contains loads of sugar and fat which can have adverse effects on your body. Study has suggested that dark chocolates are not just delicious but also healthy.
The main ingredient of chocolate, cocoa has many useful chemicals like flavonoids and theobromine which have many benefits. However cocoa is very bitter in taste, so milk, butter and sugar is added to bring in the sweetness and the amazing taste. Though an excess of these extra ingredients are bad for health. So get dark chocolates having a cocoa content of 80% to get the maximum benefits of chocolate.
Let’s see some of the various benefits of eating chocolates:
1 Antioxidants- dark chocolates have a good amount of flavonoids and antioxidants which have disease fighting abilities. These antioxidants are also found in red wine and fruits & veggies. Chocolate has more flavonoids than any other food.
2 Healthy heart- Latest study suggests that chocolate has many cardiovascular benefits. In an experiment consisting of 31000 women, it was learnt that eating chocolate twice a week have lesser risk of having a heart failure than those who didn’t eat. This is because of the flavonoids that are present in the dark chocolate which increases the flexibility of veins and arteries. Another study suggested that chocolate lowers blood pressure and reduced the risk of stroke and heart failure by 38%.
3 Lowers anxiety and stress- chocolate is one of the food that releases endorphins which reduced anxiety and stress. The high concentration of magnesium helps in lifting up mood and reducing the water retention.
4 Losing weight- If you include dark chocolate to your diet plan for reducing your weight, it’d be very useful. This is because eating chocolate would give you a filling feeling and also would reduce your cravings for sweet and fatty food.
5 May prevent pregnancy complications- a latest study suggested that chocolate has a chemical called Theobromine which may reduce Preeclampsia which is a major complications among pregnant women. Preeclampsia raises blood pressure and eating dark chocolate lowers the risk of having this condition by about 69%. However no direct link between chocolate and preeclampsia has been discovered yet.
6 Prevention of diabetes- dark chocolates have a large concentration of flavonoids which increases the nitric oxide production which helps in controlling insulin sensitivity and thus reducing the risk of getting diabetes.
7 May improve skin- people who eat chocolates have more protection to UV radiation than those who don’t eat. The flavonoids present in the chocolate makes the skin look a lot young and reduced the reddening effect on the skin.
8 Cough relief- Chocolates have theobromine, which has the property of quietening cough. It also has the feel-good effect which suppresses the feel of coughing.