Candies, chocolate bars, cacao beans, and powder on a wooden background
I, like many others, find chocolate difficult to resist. Chocolate is also associated with weight gain and skin problems. Americans spend $10 billion annually on chocolate treats. However, this isn’t all bad news. Numerous studies have shown that dark chocolate can be beneficial for your health.
There are many health benefits to chocolate.
The weight loss doctor goes over 20 facts you might not know about chocolate. These 20 facts will help you indulge without guilt. Of course, in moderation.
1. It can keep your heart healthy.
Numerous studies have shown that chocolate’s flavonoids can help keep your blood vessels and veins supple. One hundred fourteen thousand people were followed for seven weeks by seven studies. They were allowed to eat a handful of dark chocolate per week. Their risk of heart attack decreased by 37%, while their chances of suffering a stroke fell 29% when they consumed more chocolate.
2. This may improve your memory as you age
Research shows that older adults given cocoa extracts high in flavonols had a significantly improved cognitive function. When it comes time to eat chocolate, the cocoa flavanols are much lower due to the processing and addition of eggs, milk, and sugar.
3. It can be used to prevent sunburn
A study in London showed that women who received chocolate high in flavanol could resist twice the UV light without burning.
4. You may be able to do better in math.
Math was not something I excelled at in school. Perhaps I should have eaten darker chocolaty! After reading about the research of Professor David Kennedy, Director of Brain, Performance, and Nutrition at Northumbria University (UK), this is the shocking conclusion I reached. Participants were given 500mg of flavanols in hot cocoa. Participants experienced increased brain flow and could handle complex math equations better.
5. You may feel better.
My aunt cried, and he said he would give her chocolate. I wish he had. They again looked into cocoa polyphenols. They found that they had a positive effect on participants’ moods, who felt happier and calmer.
6. It could lower cholesterol
A study that looked into the effects of dark chocolate on LDL cholesterol was published in the Journal of Nutrition. The subjects scored lower on cholesterol when offered dark chocolate bars with plant sterols or flavanols.
7. It could be helpful for people who have Alzheimer’s disease.
We know that Alzheimer’s disease can cause severe damage to nerve pathways in the brain, leading to the loss of certain mental functions. It’s fascinating to learn how one extract of cocoa called lavado can reduce the damage to these vital pathways.
8. It can be a great help in your workout
Epicatechin, another magical flavanol found in chocolate, is also a magic ingredient. Epicatechin was given to mice, and they proved to be much more fit and strong than mice who were only fed water. According to researchers, a daily intake of half a square of chocolate is necessary to achieve the best workout results. Too much can negate the benefits.
9. It is highly nutritious
Did you know that chocolate with high cocoa content (75 to 85%) can be a healthy snack? The typical 100-gram chocolate bar is a good choice. It contains almost all your RDAs for manganese and copper. It has more than half of your RDA in magnesium and around two-thirds (67%) of your RDA in iron. It also contains about 10% fiber. It also contains a lot of selenium, zinc, and potassium.
10. It can lower your blood pressure
Although you may not realize it, having enough NO (Nitric Oxide in your body) can help your arteries relax. This will help reduce the pressure on the arteries, resulting in a lower BP. Another benefit of dark chocolate flavanols, which aid in producing this vital Nitric Oxide.
11. It increases your endorphin production
It could be excitement, love, or exercising that causes you to feel high. Endorphins, which are brain hormones, cause this high. Flavanols, which are brain hormones, can also be used to increase endorphin production. This is an excellent benefit of chocolate! The role of endorphins is crucial in helping to prevent depression and other mental disorders.
12. It could reduce the risk of pregnancy complications
Preeclampsia is a condition that can cause high blood pressure. Theobromine, a chemical found in dark chocolate, has been shown to stimulate the heart and dilate the arteries. This condition was 40% less likely to develop in pregnant women given more chocolate.
13. It could help manage diabetes
Although you may think chocolate is too sweet and banned for diabetics, a small study from the University of L’Aquila in Italy showed that the right amount of chocolate flavonoids could improve insulin function and help regulate metabolism. Although this could be beneficial for people with diabetes, more research is needed.
14. This may reduce your food cravings
You’re familiar with the feeling: you can’t function unless you have something to eat. According to little research, dark chocolate is one of the most nutritious. It fills you up faster and reduces your cravings for sweet and salty snacks.
15. It could help with your cough
Theobromine, a chocolate chemical that contains theobromine, can also calm a troublesome chest. This is a new way for manufacturers to make safer cough syrups, as codeine can have some side effects.
16. It could improve blood circulation
Aspirin is usually taken to prevent blood clotting and improve circulation. Recent studies have shown that chocolate may also have the same effect.
17. You may also see better with it
Researchers at the University of Reading were interested in seeing if dark chocolate flavanols could improve vision. They knew that it would increase blood circulation, and they wanted to find out. The researchers conducted a small experiment with two groups of volunteers and gave them both white and dark chocolate. After vision tests, the dark chocolate group performed better.
18. It could help with fatigue
You can add chocolate to your daily diet if you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. One group of patients was given a daily chocolate intake for two months. They felt less tired, and they didn’t gain any weight.
19. It could help lower your Body Mass Index
A lot has been said about how chocolate can lower your BMI (Body Mass Index). This is your measurement of your height and weight. One study looked at 1,000 Californians. They found that people who ate more chocolate during the week had lower BMIs. This result was not affected by diet or exercise habits.
20. This may reduce your chance of developing cancer.
We have already mentioned that cocoa flavanols found in dark chocolate are both anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. These properties are crucial in preventing the effects of free radicals. These are the main culprits in cancer cells forming, as we all know.
After you’ve finished reading the entire list, grab a piece of dark chocolate to enjoy. The darker the chocolate, the better!