Who doesn't love chocolates?
Just thinking about it can make you feel good. You are not alone; most people feel good when they eat chocolate.
Research confirms that chocolate, does affect your emotions and your mood. That's because chocolate increases the levels of serotonin. It is ”the feel-good” chemical secreted by your brain.
No wonder we gravitate towards a chocolate when feeling gloomy! And there is even more good news about chocolate.
3 More benefits of eating dark chocolate
1. Improves heart health: Dark chocolates are high in cacao, which gives their characteristic bitterness. Research points to the high antioxidant levels for the heart healthy effects. Flavonols help lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation to the heart.
2. Lowers the risk of stroke: A 2012, neurology report found an interesting observation among 37,103 Swedish men. It was a ten year follow up study. It showed that those with highest chocolate consumption had a lower risk of stroke. Beneficial antioxidants like flavonoids in chocolates attribute to the reduced risk.
3. Better blood lipid levels: Many studies found that dark chocolate, reduced the bad cholesterol and total cholesterol levels.
So much goodness from a sweet thing. A delicious finding indeed, but not so fast. Not all chocolate delivers the same benefits.
Be sure, to choose the healthy dark chocolate
1. Choose raw chocolates: Most chocolates are heat processed and refined to produce different types of cacao. This destroys the micronutrients and antioxidants that naturally occur in raw chocolates.
Make sure the nutrition label lists cacao as the first ingredient and makes up 80% of the chocolate.
2. Avoid additives: Avoid chocolates with additives like high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils. They harm your blood vessels, cause weight gain and increase the risk of diseases.
3. Choose dark chocolates: Dark chocolates have less sugar when compared to regular chocolates. Choose them over milk chocolates to reap the health benefits of cacao. Dark chocolate has more flavanols than milk chocolate. Besides, presence of dairy hinders the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate.
What about chocolate syrup?
Chocolate syrup, milk chocolates, white chocolates are all low in flavonoids. Verdict, there is no room for speculation. Dark chocolates and raw cacao are the ones with beneficial effects.
Consume 1 to 1.5 ounces per day
Did I mention, 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate per day helps you get 15% of the RDA of magnesium and 34% of copper? These 2 “micro minerals” are needed for maintaining strong bones, and nerve health. They also play an important role in improving energy levels and protecting your heart.
Here are a couple of tips to incorporate add dark chocolate in your diet
- Choose cacao powder, it is one of the best ways to incorporate dark chocolate in your drinks.
- Make brownies, cookies, mousse, and souffles using dark chocolate chips/powder to give you enough of these beneficial antioxidants.
Yours in Health,
P.S. Please share this good news with your friends and I want to hear from you in the comments below. Are you a chocolate lover too?