Chocolate is a delicious treat, that can turn a frown upside down on even the toughest of days. Could it be that this delectable indulgence could be good for your health? As it turns out, studies in recent years have shown that there are many health benefits of chocolate, so let’s talk more about what those are below.
Health Benefits of Chocolate
As a self-diagnosed chocoholic, this is music to my ears! Let’s go down the list of good reasons to eat it.
The regular consumption of dark chocolate helps to increase the levels of HDL or good cholesterol in the blood, and reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol can lead to clogged arteries and heart disease.
Boosts Your Mood
Multiple studies have found that indulging your sweet tooth with some chocolate can help to boost your mood. This is because the cocoa in chocolate helps to increase the serotonin levels in your brain, which can lead to feelings of calmness and contentment.
Increase Athletic Performance
Who would have ever thought that eating chocolate could make you a better athlete, but it turns out that it is true! Eating chocolate encourages the body to produce more nitric acid which helps to relax and widen your blood vessels. When your blood vessels are open wider you use less oxygen which can increase your stamina allowing you to workout longer and harder.
Can Reduce the Risk of Pre-Eclampsia
One common pregnancy complication is pre-eclampsia where the blood pressure of the mother gets too high which can put both the mother and the baby at risk. One of the chemicals found in chocolate is called theobromine which can help to widen the arteries and stimulate the heart. Recent studies have shown that the risk of pre-eclampsia was reduced by as much as 40% in expectant mothers who ate dark chocolate.
May Help Control Coughing
Remember the theobromine found in chocolate? As it turns out, that same theobromine reduces the activity of the vagus nerve which is the part of the brain that controls difficult to shake coughs. Cough syrups made of theobromine are now commercially available and were designed to be a replacement for more habit-forming cough syrups that contained codeine.
May Help with Weight Loss
Wait, what? Eating chocolate might help you to lose weight? Turns out it’s true! Several studies have confirmed that eating a small amount of dark chocolate before or after a meal will help you to feel full faster and longer. The chocolate stimulates a hormone in the brain that tells you to stop eating.
Research has also suggested that if you reach for a small amount of chocolate in between meals when you are hungry for a snack, that you are less likely to overindulge which can contribute to weight loss.
May Improve Heart Health
Studies from around the globe have concluded that eating chocolate has positive effects on your heart health. In addition to increasing circulation, and lowering blood pressure, eating chocolate also significantly reduced the risk of heart attack and stroke.
These are just a few of the health benefits of chocolate, scientists and researchers are conducting new studies all of the time to see what other benefits chocolate may have for our health. It should be noted that the chocolate scientists and doctors think is the most beneficial is dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains more pure cocoa and that is what is believed to provide the health benefits.
Even though chocolate has many beneficial effects on health it should still be consumed in moderation. The next time you are looking for a mood boost, or to curb your hunger, treat yourself to a bit of dark chocolate and let your worries melt away, all while improving your health!
Try these dark chocolate recipes below!
Dark Chocolate Dessert Hummus – Really Are you Serious
Dark Chocolate and Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies – Grandbaby Cakes
Simple Nutty Homemade Waffles – My Boys and Their Toys
Dark Chocolate Superfood Bites – Thrifty Jinxy
Caramel Chocolate Brownies – My Boys and Their Toys