- According to research, those who consume between 50 and 100 grams (300 and 600 calories) of chocolate on one or two occasions a week had a lower risk of dying from heart disease before their time. This is due to the fact that the primary components of chocolate promote healthy blood flow and strengthen the cardiovascular system.
- Dark chocolate, which has at least 70-85% cocoa content, is the healthiest.
- Despite having little sugar and milk, dark chocolate isn’t necessarily sugar- and milk-free. Intake should therefore always be strictly controlled.
Every year, February 14 is celebrated as a day of love, affection, and friendship. Presents, flowers, and, most significantly, chocolates are also connected to this day. This may be due to the misconception that chocolate enhances sexual performance or the fact that it is the perfect gift for a beloved due to how smooth and delectable it tastes and smells. However, did you know that it provides health advantages in addition to being sweet and appealing to the eye?
Health Benefits of Chocolate: The Sweet Truth
- Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
Compounds found in chocolate are abundant and may benefit cardiovascular health. One of these substances is flavonoids, which are recognized for reducing blood pressure and enhancing blood flow to the heart. Another ingredient in it called epicatechin has been demonstrated to raise HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol. The well-known antioxidants in chocolate can also aid in reducing inflammation and preventing arterial wall deterioration.
- Brain Boosting Power
Chocolate isn’t just good for the heart—it’s good for the brain, too! Studies have shown that eating this food product can improve cognitive function and help reduce the risk of dementia. The flavonoids in it can also help improve blood flow to the brain and protect brain cells from damage. For those looking for an extra boost, dark chocolate is especially beneficial thanks to its higher concentration of flavonoids.
- Stress Relief
We all deal with stress from time to time, but did you know that eating chocolate can help relieve stress? Chocolate contains compounds like tryptophan and phenylethylamine that can help reduce stress levels and promote feelings of calmness and relaxation. So next time you’re feeling stressed out, reach for a square (or two) of dark chocolate instead of a bag of chips!
Selecting the Right Type of Chocolate and Moderating Consumption
The most beneficial type of chocolate is the dark variety, containing at least 70–85% cocoa. It is recommended that consumption be limited to 50–100 grams per day, 1–2 days a week for best results in terms of heart health. Even while milk and sugar are only present in trace levels in dark chocolate, this does not indicate that they are completely absent. As a result, it should only be consumed occasionally. Regular exercise and a balanced diet are further components of good health.
1. Chocsandboxes. Health benefits of chocolates. Available at www.chocsnboxes.com
2. Phaisit T. February 2022, A hearty chocolate. Available at https://www.samitivejhospitals