Health Benefits of Chocolate
Chocolate: A Warrior for Your Health
Sweet, decadent and sometimes responsible for our sanity, chocolate is highest ruler of the dessert realm. The perfect pairing for fruit, nuts and salty snacks, chocolate seems to make every treat just that much better. Want some good news? We are here to banish the guilt associated with our trusted cocoa friend. While moderation is key, chocolate is packed with secret health benefits that our bodies appreciate! Join us in uncovering the mystical health benefits of chocolate.
The king of comfort, it’s only natural to reach for the chocolate stash when your day has taken a wrong turn. As it turns out, that emotional cocoa binge might actually help combat stress. When the going gets tough, stress and its sneaky sidekick cortisol can wreak havoc on your body.
In a recent study, Swiss scientists instructed anxious participants to eat an ounce and a half of dark chocolate every day for two weeks. At the end of the study, the researchers discovered participant’s stress hormone levels were significantly reduced.
What have we learned? Whether you’re going through a break-up or didn’t get the promotion, skip the pint of ice cream and indulge in some dark chocolate instead.
More than a cure for a broken heart, several studies have shown chocolate significantly reduces the risk of heart disease. In a study of 470 men, cocoa was found to reduce the risk of death by heart disease by an incredible 50% over a 15 year period.
Some compounds found in dark chocolate seem to be highly protective against the oxidation of LDL (LDL = bad cholesterol. When it oxidizes, it becomes capable of damaging other tissues). Over time, this would prevent the lodging of cholesterol in arteries, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. In fact, another study revealed that eating chocolate two or more times a week lowered the risk of having calcified plaque in the arteries by over 30%.
Excellent Source of Antioxidants
Dark chocolate has a multitude of powerful antioxidants. In fact, it has significantly more antioxidants than many other foods.
Loaded with organic compounds like polyphenols, flavanols, cataechins and more, chocolate ranks higher in antioxidant activity than any other fruits including blueberries and acai berries.
Why do we need antioxidants? Antioxidants protect cells in your body from free radicals. Free radicals are associated with disease, radiation and pollution in your body. Load up on anti-oxidants to keep your immune system strong and prevent potential disease.
Hold up, how exactly does eating chocolate help with weight loss? As it turns out, dark chocolate is significantly better at satisfying your sweet tooth than other high-sugar and carb-heavy dessert alternatives. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen found dark chocolate can actually lessen cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods.
So if you’re looking to add chocolate into your daily diet without gaining weight, the two might actually work hand-in-hand. Allow yourself to indulge in a bit of dark chocolate. Its appetite-satisfying powers should make it easier for you to stick to your healthy diet.
Who knew a chocolate-y treat could boost your focus and energy? From increased blood flow to a caffeine-kick, chocolate helps your thinker in more ways than one.
One study revealed that eating high-flavanol cocoa for five days improved blood flow to the brain of healthy volunteer participants. Additionally, research has shown chocolate’s power to improve cognitive function in elderly people with mental impairment.
Finally, similar to a cup of coffee, cocoa contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine. Grabbing a square of dark chocolate as an afternoon pick-me-up might help you combat the 3:00pm slump better than a cup of joe.
Need More Chocolate?
If dark chocolate squares leave you craving more, satiate your sweet tooth with pharmaceutical grade chocolate protein!