Amazing Health Benefits of Chocolate

June 28, 2019

Photo Credit: Charisse Kenion

Scientific studies have shown that chocolate has some benefits for our health, but it is very important if we choose a true product, not a cheap copy.

When you read a “cheap copy” you probably thought of some chocolate brands that have a low price and whose packaging leaves it to be desired, but the situation is somewhat more complex.

True chocolate is only black, with a minimum of 70% cocoa. It also contains cocoa butter, without milk and tons of sugar. Even if the other chocolate haves a pleasant taste, the one you should choose has a strong flavor, melts in your mouth and saturates you very quickly (1-2 squares are enough). The benefits you will find in this article only relates to the true product.

The fine taste, the smell and the texture of the chocolate stimulates the sensitive areas of the brain. Black chocolate also contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that stimulates the production of serotonin, the natural antidepressant of the brain.

MAINTAINS AND IMPROVES THE HEALTH OF THE HEART

Consumption of black chocolate can lead to low blood pressure, thinning of the blood (reducing the risk of stroke) and has an anti-inflammatory effect. This is due to the high content of chemicals called flavonoids. Flavonoids seem to stimulate the body to make more of the nitrogen oxide, which helps to enlarge and relax the blood vessels, which can help lower blood pressure.

IT IS VERY NUTRITIOUS

Did you know that if choose chocolate with a high cocoa content (75% to 85%) you are getting a very nutritious snack? Take the typical 100 gram chocolate bar. It has almost all of your RDA for copper and manganese. It contains over half your magnesium RDA and about two thirds (67%) of your RDA for iron. It also has about 10% of fiber. There is also lots of zinc, selenium and potassium too.

PROTECTS THE ARTERIES

Chocolate flavonoids also help to stop bad cholesterol. Flavonoids contain more than 50% of an unusual type of saturated fat, called stearic acid, present in cocoa butter that does not raise bad cholesterol and may even increase good cholesterol levels.

CALMS COUGH

Black chocolate also contains a chemical called theobromine, which has been shown to suppress cough by acting on the vagus nerve, which carries messages from the central nervous system to the brain.

IT CAN PUT YOU IN A BETTER MOOD

I wish my uncle had given my aunt some chocolate when he told her to stop crying and to ‘cheer up.’ He obviously had not read about the work at the University of Swinburne in Australia. These guys again targeted the cocoa polyphenols and they found that it had a beneficial effect on the mood of the participants who were calmer and happier.

IT CAN HELP YOU SEE BETTER

University of Reading researchers were curious to see if dark chocolate flavanols could actually improve vision as they knew it certainly improved blood circulation in general. They decided to do a small experiment and gave two groups of volunteers some white and dark chocolate. The dark chocolate groups were doing better on vision tests afterwards.

BENEFITS FOR THE BRAIN

A chemical called epicatechin – found in cocoa and green tea – can help protect the brain against the formation of sticky proteins or amyloid plaques that develop in Alzheimer’s disease.

Black chocolate is used for its thousands of years of benefits, either in liquid form or in solid form. It is good to know that “chocolate dependence” does not exist; the problem is caused by those cheap kinds I mentioned earlier that also contain caffeine and a large amount of sugar.

In other words, enjoy the wonderful taste and the benefits of black chocolate – of course, without making excesses.