Numerous Health Benefits of Chocolate?
Well, it’s Valentine’s Day… This Valentine’s Day it might be a good idea to give your sweetie that heart-shaped box to give them the health benefits of chocolate. Personally, I’m not a big chocolate fan – but I know many of my clients are die-hards. All around the world, it’s loved and that makes me wonder how healthy is it? Does the kind matter? How much is too much?
Health Benefits of Chocolate of Dark Chocolate
One thing we do know is that chocolate is way better for you then milk chocolate and the darker the chocolate the better.
Why? It’s all about the cocoa content of the chocolate and a darker color usually means more cocoa. Cocoa is important because it has many antioxidants (flavanols) that can help prevent many diseases. More cocoa = more anti-oxidants = healthier you!
Look for chocolate with a cocoa content greater than 70% for max benefits!
Now here is a disclaimer – I’m looking at you person who just demolished 5 KitKats – this is not a green light to go bonkers on chocolate. As with all things nutrition, it is all about moderation. Moderation can be described as ½ ounce of chocolate a day – the size of 2 Hersey Kisses – recommends Deborah Waterhouse, author of Why Women Need Chocolate.
That really isn’t that much but that’s what moderation is all about and where willpower comes in!
If you eat your dark chocolate in moderation (along with daily exercise) then you can reap the benefits of its consumption!
Plus, we all need to keep some of the things we love in our diet in order to stick with it and not go crazy, right?
5 health benefits of chocolate:
1. Improves Heart Health
If you are looking for a way to improve your heart health then dark chocolate could be the answer. It has been shown that its consumption can help increase the flexibility of your arteries which can reduce atherosclerosis (Esser et al 2014). The more artery flexibility the more likely they won’t get clogged – hard arteries are never good!
This can equate to a reduced risk of a heart attack!
2. Prevents Stroke
Research has even found that those who consume chocolate on a regular basis were less likely to suffer a stroke (Sahib and Sapsonik 2010). Plus, those that did regularly consume chocolate had a significantly reduced risk of death if they did have a stroke!
Regular chocolate eaters were those who ate over 50 grams a week (only 1/4 ounce a day) – I know some people who do that in one sitting – remember moderation!
3. Prevents Obesity and Diabetes
Another great benefit of dark chocolate is that it can help prevent obesity and even diabetes! Research – mostly performed on mice – found that some of the antioxidants found in dark chocolate were able to prevent mice from excess weight gain when they were fed a diet very high in fat (Dorenkott et al 2014).
It also helped fight type-2 diabetes by increasing their tolerance to glucose.
4. Cancer-Fighting Properties
Cocoa can do wonders it seems – as in it can also help prevent cancer. Research has demonstrated that cocoa has some anti-carcinogenic properties which – when consumed daily – can help delay the progression of colon cancer (Rodríguez-Ramiro et al 2011)!
5. Endorphins Make Your Partner Happy
When your partner is happy then you are happy – period! Now that may not be a scientifically proven fact but it is proven that chocolate can help relieve stress by releasing feel-good endorphins and serotonin that help put your partner in a better mood.
Don’t we all want that? In fact, grab a bite or two yourself – I’m sure they think you are a ball of joy when you are stressed out as well!
It really is amazing the numerous health benefits of chocolate – dark chocolate that is!
From preventing cancer to improving your heart health the anti-oxidants in cocoa are very powerful.
Make sure your chocolate is at least 70% cocoa and that you eat it in moderation (1/2 ounce per day) and you might witness these awesome health benefits as well!
This year show your significant other that you really love them by giving them some dark chocolate – it’s way cheaper than diamonds and tastes better too!
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