Heart Healthy Chocolate Facts

Health Benefits of ChocolateHealth Benefits of Chocolate

Chocolate has often been miscalculated as a junk food that should be avoided at all times. That is a pity because a lot of people, especially those with sweet tooth, love eating chocolates. A lot of people consider chocolates as their comfort food, especially when they are feeling a little lonely and out of sorts. Well, here is good news for people who can’t get chocolates out of their systems – they have health benefits, too. Here are some of the reasons why chocolates are good for your body:

 

    • Chocolate keeps the heart healthy. A recent Swedish study conducted over a nine-year period on women who eat one to two servings of dark chocolate every week proved that eating chocolates can lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by a third. Another German study about eating one square of dark chocolate each day also showed that people who do this also lessen their risk of getting hypertension, heart attack, and stroke. That is because chocolates contain antioxidant compounds that keep the arteries and veins flexible.

  • Chocolate promotes weight loss. This might come as a shock to you, but researchers coming from the University of Copenhagen found out that the dark chocolate variety lessens cravings and promotes a feeling of satiety. Hence, incorporating a daily dose of dark chocolate in your diet can also help you stick to your dietary plans.
  • Chocolate makes you happy. There have been several studies showing how chocolates can help uplift your mood and fight depression. This is largely due to the endorphins found in chocolates. These endorphins are like happy hormones that make you feel positively happy when you are sad, and this is the reason why a lot of people count chocolates as their comfort food. Chocolates also prevent stress, as stress hormone levels drop significantly after eating chocolate.
  • Chocolate can improve thinking. People suffering from mild cognitive impairment can also benefit from chocolates, since a recent study published in Hypertension showed that the flavonoids found in cocoa can help improve verbal fluency, cognitive function, and cognitive flexibility.
  • Chocolate can help prevent diabetes. This might be a little conflicting, since we all know that chocolates, like candies, contain simple sugars that are easily converted to glucose and cause sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. However, an Italian study showed that those who ate dark chocolate once a day for a period of 15 days actually lowered their insulin resistance by almost 50%. Once again, this is due to the flavonoids found in cocoa that help increase production of nitric oxide, thus controlling insulin sensitivity.

Keep in mind that most of the health benefits of chocolate come from cocoa, so the darker the chocolate is, the healthier it becomes. Other variants of chocolates, especially the commercially produced ones, contain higher amounts of sugar and fat due to processing, hence their health benefits are also significantly reduced. However, indulging in other types of chocolate can be done every now and then, as long as it is done in moderation.

For more tips on healthy eating and habits, you can sign up for one of our meal plans at http://www.healthydietmenusforyou.com.

About Mathea

Mathea Ford, RD/LD, is the owner of Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC. She has over 22 books on Amazon, check out her work at http://www.renaldiethq.com/go/author

Speak Your Mind

*