Chocolate is a universally loved dessert, which is not only delicious but is the ultimate comfort food. A mood enhancer, chocolate is excellent for health. Studies have proven that dark chocolate if taken in small quantities, can be beneficial for health. It not only helps in checking weight loss but also keeps sugar cravings at bay. The following is a list of 10 reasons why chocolate is good for you.
1.It keeps you slim
Believe it or not, when taken in regulated quantities, dark chocolate can keep your weight in check. In a study, it has been revealed that people who eat chocolate frequently are slimmer than those who eat it occasionally. It was observed that eating chocolate in small quantities, on a regular basis can help control late night binges. It also satiates sugar cravings, but the consumption should be in a limited amount.
2.Chocolate is good for heart circulation and reduces risks of heart stroke
Chocolate contains properties which help to restore theflexibility of arteries. It also prevents white blood cells from latching itself onto blood vessels; therefore, combating artery clogging. Some researchers in Finland have proved that chocolate consumption can reduce the risk of heart stroke by 17 percent. Chocolate is a source of flavonoids and other antioxidants which are adept at preventing heart stroke.
3.Chocolates reduce cholesterol levels and is packed with minerals
Bad cholesterol or "LDL" levels decrease with regular consumption of dark chocolate in a limited amount. It raises the level of good cholesterol and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Plus, it contains minerals such as zinc, selenium, potassium, and contains iron in high quantities. Chocolate contains polyphenols which reduces oxidative stress, thus helping blood vessels to dilate.
4.Chocolate is good for the skin
Not just any chocolate, but good quality dark chocolate can improve the skin quality in women. While some say chocolate can cause acne, in reality, it is just a myth! Chocolate does not contain elements which can cause breakouts unless you are allergic to it. The flavonoids found in chocolates increase protection from UV rays, thus, protecting the skin against premature ageing due to the sun, sunspots and other side-effects caused by sun exposure. However, it does not mean you stop using sunscreen if you eat dark chocolate!
5.Chocolate prevents liver damage
High blood pressure and vascular problems in the liver can cause liver diseases. Since dark chocolate improves the blood flow in the liver as well, it prevents chronic liver diseases and thus, prevents damage to the organ. However, the studies are in its initial stage, and the matter is yet to be proven with valid proofs and references.
6.Chocolate is a mood booster and makes you feel good!
Chocolate helps in the release of endorphins and serotonin, which are mood boosters. A study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology has revealed that those who consumed dark chocolate drinks on a regular basis were happy and content. It helps in improving mood and helps in combating stress, mood swings, sadness and uplifts one’s overall mood. The release of the feel-good chemicals in the brain make chocolate a mood enhancer.
7.Does chocolate help in improving math?
Well, according to a British psychologist, all those who cannot understand math’s must increase their intake of dark chocolates. It is believed that Flavanols, which is a class of flavonoids helped people in improving their mental math! The study revealed that people got better with numbers after drinking a cup of hot chocolate! The findings suggest that if one consumes hot chocolate before revising or preparing for a math exam, it can help them work better by a small percentage.
8.Chocolate can prevent cancer
Pentamer or pentameric procyanidin is a compound found in cocoa. The compound disrupts the cancer cell's ability to spread in the body. Many medical institutes have tried to treat cancer with Pentamer, and it has been observed, that the proteins necessary for cancer cells to grow were suppressed, which stopped the cells from growing altogether. The flavanols in cocoa beans reduce damage to cells, and damaged cells are the precursors of cancer. Consumption of lesser amounts of chocolates with at least 70 percent cocoa has major health benefits.
9. Chocolate can improve blood flow and strengthen the brain
Since chocolate prevents arteries from getting blocked, they help in improving blood flow not only in the heart but also in the rest of the body. Regular chocolate intake has been proven to improve blood flow in the brain as well. It also shields the brain and prevents it from a stroke. Many studies have been conducted to figure out how chocolate can be beneficial for the brain. Epicatechin, a compound found in chocolate, has significantly reduced brain damage in mice who suffered from strokes. It also helped in improving the memory of the mice.
10.Chocolate increases life expectancy
Many Harvard research studies have revealed that eating chocolates can add up to 2 years of your life expectancy! However, most chocolates available in the market are heavily processed. As such, milk chocolate needs to be ruled out and replaced with rich dark chocolate. Chocolate also has anti-ageing properties due to the flavanol content in them. However, keep in mind that darker the chocolate, the more beneficial it will be for health, so instead of packing on the calories by binging on chocolate desserts, opt for dark chocolate bars to derive maximum benefits.
If you are a chocolate lover, you have ten good reasons to why you must increase your intake of chocolates on a regular basis. Binging on chocolate is not the way to go, instead, have it in limited quantities and savour on it. Buying chocolate and eating chocolate is not only good for the body, but also for the soul. It contains PEA or phenylethylamine, which is the same chemical the brain releases when you fall in love! It makes you feel better on the inside and outside, plus it tastes delicious, what’s not to love?
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