People love chocolate. They turn to chocolate for consolation when life let them down. It helps enhance mood and even works as a romance-inducer in many circumstances. While chocolate is popular and has some specific benefits, you may still have to keep an eye on how much you consume. You will lose many benefits of chocolate if you scoff lots of it. Still, you can include dark chocolate in your diet to enjoy amazing benefits – it should come with a cocoa percentage of 70% or more. Let's find out some of the best benefits.
Impressive Health Benefits of Chocolate
Eating good chocolate, like dark chocolate, is not always bad, especially if you eat in moderation. Here are some impressive health benefits of eating chocolate.
1. It Lowers Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Studies show that you lower your risk of dying from heart attack by 50% or more by having a few squares of dark chocolate daily. Blood platelets clot slowly if you consume chocolate more often. You increase your risk of having a heart attack or another cardiovascular disease when your platelets clump and form a clot to cause blockage in a blood vessel. Chocolate reduces platelet clumping mainly because of the flavanols found in cocoa beans. It also reduces risk of heart disease by decreasing LDL oxidation, lowering blood pressure, and having an anti-inflammatory effect on your body.
2. It Lowers Blood Pressure
Researchers have found that eating 3-ounce of dark chocolate for 15 days may help prevent insulin resistance. Moreover, you may also notice a reduction in your systolic blood pressure for eating dark chocolate regularly. White chocolate creates the same effect on your body.
3. It Improves Arterial Blood Flow
Eating chocolate that is loaded with flavanols may help improve blood circulation. It works great to improve your arterial blood flow. It happens because flavanols help your blood vessels to relax, which promotes better flow of blood and prevents cardiovascular disease.
4. It Reduces Tiredness and Fatigue
One of many benefits of chocolate is that it helps treat chronic fatigue syndrome. Eating 11/2 ounces of 85% cocoa dark chocolate for about eight weeks may help you feel less fatigued. Many studies have found that eating dark chocolate to treat chronic fatigue syndrome is not associated with weight gain.
5. It Gives You Glowing Skin
Chocolate works great to help you have healthier skin mainly because it contains antioxidants. Regular consumption of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate will make your skin smoother and more resistant to sunburn. Eating cocoa for about 12 weeks may help reduce overall moisture loss in skin by 25%. Studies have also confirmed that enjoying milk chocolate for about 12 weeks will lead to a substantial increase in your skin's ability to fight UV rays. It also protects your skin from dehydration and burns by improving blood circulation to the capillaries in the top layer of your skin.
6. It Reduces Anxiety and Stress
Stress triggers the production of cortisol that leads to the accumulation of the abdominal fat – the fat may also develop around your organs. Eating an ounce of dark chocolate a day for about two weeks may help lower the levels of cortisol in your body and put you in a better position to fight stress and anxiety. Studies also show that people who eat cocoa regular have 10% lower levels of anxiety.
7. It Improves Energy Levels
If you follow a strenuous workout routine, you will benefit a lot by eating chocolate. Eating chocolate before a workout will provide you with energy to power through a hard sweat session. Having it after your workout will considerably cut down on soreness. Cocoa contains antioxidants, such as epicatechins and catechins, that improve your body's ability to absorb nutrients. This in turn creates energy that you can utilize to complete your workout session. Some studies have also found that energizing antioxidants in chocolate may increase your "fatigue resistance" ability by 30%. Moreover, chocolate reduces post-workout soreness mainly because of its anti-inflammatory compounds – it works even more effectively as compared to carb shakes and many other muscle-recovery beverages.
Which Type of Chocolate Has the Most Benefits?
The amazing benefits of chocolate come from the healthy antioxidant flavonoids, the amount of which may vary from chocolate to chocolate. It is for this reason that many people ask what type of chocolate they should include in their diet. The best thing is to pay attention to the amount of nonfat cocoa solids in your chocolate product. If it contains more cocoa solids, it will have more antioxidants, too.
You can find the highest levels of flavonoids in natural cocoa powder – this is not true for Dutch cocoa though, which is basically alkalized cocoa. Unsweetened baking chocolate comes second in terms of levels of flavonoids. Semisweet chocolate chips and dark chocolate rank third, whereas chocolate syrup and milk chocolate are at the bottom of the list.
What it implies is that the finest option for the lowest fat, lowest-calorie form of chocolate is cocoa. A 3-tbsp serving of cocoa will provide you 1.5 g of fat, 3 g of fiber, no saturated fat, and 60 calories in total. On the other hand, a 2-ounce serving of milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate provides you with 17 g of fat with 10 g of saturated fat and 270 calories. So, you know which way to go, do not you?