It’s clear that humans like chocolate. But what if we were wrong about it being bad for us? What if chocolate could actually be good for you?
There’s nothing that quite compares to the velvety, melt-in-your-mouth surreal experience that chocolate provides.
An average human being eats almost 10 pounds of chocolate each year.
And with the use of chocolate dating back as far as 1900 BC, it certainly seems like chocolate won’t be going out of fashion anytime soon.
Find out what the experts have to say and discover the hidden benefits that are locked within this ultimate satisfactory treat!
Good Chocolate Is Packed With Antioxidants
You might have already heard that chocolate is high in antioxidants. But what does this actually mean for you?
Antioxidants are a group of natural food chemicals such as flavanols, polyphenols, and catechins that fight free radicals in our body. Free radicals cause oxidation and inflammation, which contribute toward aging processes, chronic disease, and even cancer. Therefore, antioxidants can have a therapeutic action by disarming free-radicals and their associated health issues.
Good-quality dark chocolate is the best, highest-antioxidant forms of chocolate to eat. Dairy milk and white chocolate (which are higher in fat) contain far fewer antioxidants by comparison.
Cocoa Contains Some Surprising Nutrients!
Cocoa contains a surprisingly high number of nutrients and minerals, including:
And even iron!
Furthermore, unprocessed cocoa contains almost 400 polyphenols (a type of antioxidant) and is reputed to have more phenolics than green tea. Not a bad nutritional profile for a ‘cheat food’, right?
Chocolate Might Improve Your Brain Health
Many of the healthful components in cocoa are able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Flavonoids and resveratrol are neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory, meaning that they may play a role in reducing inflammation within the Central Nervous System.
Chocolate May Be Good For Blood Pressure
Now, this is news to get your blood pumping. It appears that chocolate may help to keep our blood pressure down!
Some experts explain that the flavanols in chocolate interact with the endothelium that lines our arteries, causing cells to produce nitric oxide.
Although ‘nitric oxide’ might sound like a scary word, it’s actually very good news for our cardiovascular health. This natural gas helps the arteries to relax, which then relieves the resistance to blood flow and helps to lower our overall blood pressure.
As part of an overall diet and lifestyle strategy, it seems that a little bit of dark chocolate may have a place in maintaining good heart health.
Eating Chocolate Makes You Feel Good
You may have heard that chocolate can be a ‘mood-enhancer’ and ‘romance-inducer’. This is because chocolate is a source of ‘phenylethylamine’. This wonderful chemical stimulates all those feel-good endorphins that make the world suddenly seem like an even bigger, brighter, better place. It also mimics the sensation of falling in love, and might even boost serotonin production. That’s something to smile about!