Chocolates are Healthy!Good news, choco lovers! Chocolate has tons of health benefit!
Chocolate has always been a forbidden food. We love it but we aren’t supposed to. Now you can love it, like it and have more of it if you want. The experts have found out that there really ARE health benefits to eating your chocolate.
Where does chocolate come from?
Chocolate has enjoyed a long history but, suffice it to say, it comes from the cacao tree. Large pod-like fruits grow on these trees (out of the trunk to be exact) and they are cracked open to reveal a fleshy fruit and their seeds, cocoa beans. It is the seeds that are used to produce chocolate.
New Discoveries Regarding Chocolate
Like we said, chocolate has gotten a bad rap, until now. With the various types of chocolate, the one thing that is different is the amount of cocoa solids in each. Cocoa solids are made up of cocoa butter and cocoa.
The health benefits of the world’s favorite sinful treat come from the cocoa bean. Chocolate varieties that contain the most cocoa solids are the best for you.
So, here’s the skinny. Chocolate is found to contain antioxidants. As we all are aware, antioxidants are substances that everyone wants to get their hands on these days. They help the body fight the ravages of time by combating free radicals in the body. The type of antioxidant found in chocolate is a flavonoid called flavonol.
Flavonoids work on the cardiovascular system. In any artery, high cholesterol levels can lead to fatty deposits adhering to the walls. These hard deposits are called plaques. They narrow the opening of the artery leading to an increase in blood pressure and the possibility of stroke.
High levels of flavonoids help to reduce that risk. They prevent cholesterol plaques from forming and ruining blood vessels. Cocoa beans have as much antioxidant flavonoids as red wine, blueberries, tea and other food substances that are antioxidant-rich.
People who eat chocolate, dark chocolate that is, also have lower blood sugar. Unlike other chocolate varieties, dark chocolate doesn’t spike blood sugar levels. This is a great thing because now you can eat dark chocolate, satisfy your craving and not crave any more afterwards.
What about your brain?
Chocolate helps there too. Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine. It acts like caffeine to give you a little “pick-me-up” when you need it.
Chocolate also triggers the brain to release those good feeling endorphins. You know the ones – they are accessed when you exercise. So, eating chocolate has a soothing effect on the brain, helping to reduce stress and improve clarity in the mind (even if only for a little while).
Don’t forget that over eating any food, especially chocolate, can have negative effects. In other words, we’re not suggesting you sit down and eat an entire box of candy bars. However, if you do, be prepared for the crash that will come once the sugar high is gone.
Who knew that chocolate was good for your heart and your mind? Will it replace the apple a day to keep the doctor away? Maybe not, but it is the sweetest way to help your health that we know of.