What Does Chocolate Bring To The Diet And Who Should Eat It?
Chocolate has long been a popular food enjoyed by millions of people every day. The reason for this is obvious; chocolate is absolutely delicious. It is hard to remember a world without chocolate and its unique and deliciously rich taste, but that doesn’t mean that it is fully appreciated by everyone. In fact, while the majority of people love to eat chocolate, most consider it to be bad for their health. Conditions such as diabetes, skin problems, hypertension, and heart disease are commonly associated with chocolate consumption as well as chronic obesity across the world.
If you love eating chocolate but you have always been told that it is bad for your health, here is some wonderful news. Chocolate is filled with nutrients, antioxidants and it can actually offer you a number of fantastic health benefits.
To help everyone enjoy their favorite food without feeling guilty, here is what chocolate can bring to your diet and who can benefit from it the most.
Chocolate and Weight Loss Aid
Eating chocolate might seem like the least feasible way to lose weight for many people. However, studies have shown that eating dark chocolate may make you feel fuller for longer and reduce hunger cravings. This is because chocolate helps to reduce ghrelin levels, the hormone that is responsible for stimulating hunger. With weight loss, dark chocolate is a better option than milk chocolate. Not only does dark chocolate have less fat and sugar, participants in studies on chocolate and diet felt more full and consumed fewer calories after eating dark chocolate than after eating milk or lighter chocolate. Dark chocolate is also great because it can be eaten by everyone. If you don’t eat animal products, you may be wondering, “can vegans eat chocolate?” but you don’t need to worry because quality dark chocolate will be totally safe. Just make sure you check the wrapper to confirm that it is animal-free.
Chocolate is Packed Full of Antioxidants
Chocolate offers a wide range of health benefits thanks to the antioxidant potential that comes from its cocoa content. Typically, dark chocolate with a high cocoa content tends to be more beneficial for your health since dark chocolate has more antioxidants and lower sugar and fat levels compared to milk and white chocolate. Look for chocolate products that are at least 70 percent cocoa and you will be able to get all of the benefits. If this is too bitter for you, try bars with orange zest or a touch of added cream to take the edge off.
Flavonoids are particularly beneficial antioxidant agents, which can help you to fight off the free radicals that are formed during our daily lives as a result of breathing in contaminants from the environment. This amazing antioxidant agent can be found in a number of foods such as vegetables, fruits, and of course, chocolate.
Antioxidants VS Free Radicals
Free radicals can cause a wide range of diseases and other health issues so anything you can eat to combat them is always worth adding to your diet. In recent years, extensive studies have been designed and carried out which are dedicated to finding any potential links between eating dark chocolate and cancer prevention. It is always dangerous to make any big claims when it comes to possible cancer solutions, but antioxidants are known to protect cells in your body from the free radicals that are linked to cancer and other diseases. Free radicals can attack your cells and lead to inflammation and diseases if they are not dealt with.
One of the possible ways to fight this is to include more antioxidant-rich foods in your diet. Dark chocolate is one of those foods. Two particular flavonoid types in chocolate that are responsible for fighting free radicals are quercetin and epicatechin so is always worth looking out for them.
Chocolate Consumption Can Help To Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
The main type of flavonoids in chocolate are known as flavanols. Scientific studies have shown that these can provide many benefits for your cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure, increasing blood circulation to your brain and heart, and reducing the risks of blood clots. As well as the health benefits from antioxidant agents, eating chocolate can also help you to lower your cholesterol levels. Flavonoids can be found in different foods and drinks such as apples, peanuts, cranberries, red wine, and tea so add these to your diets along with dark chocolate.
Chocolate Can Improve Your Cognitive Ability
A scientific study by Harvard Medical School found that consuming two cups of hot chocolate per day helped with cognitive function, especially in reducing memory decline in aging people. Chocolate was found to help the study subjects with Alzheimer’s disease by improving their blood flow, reducing symptoms of confusion and forgetfulness, and preventing further damage to their nerve pathways. The researchers found that lavado, which can be extracted from cocoa, could help slow down symptoms that are commonly associated with cognitive decline in aging patients. and those with Alzheimer’s disease.
Chocolate Can Do Wonders For Your Emotional Well Being
We are only just now beginning to understand how crucial the connection is between your emotional health and your physical health. For many people, eating chocolate is an immediate mood booster which can have many positive knock-on benefits. Many people like to eat something sweet when they are feeling down or they have had a bad day, and chocolate is the perfect pick-me-up food. Just make sure that you are eating dark chocolate with low sugar and fat content so you are not affecting your physical health when you need a boost.
As you can see, chocolate has many potential health benefits but it is important to remember that the darker the chocolate, the better. Your best bet is chocolate bars with at least 70 percent cacao to have higher nutrients such as antioxidants and fiber while having lower amounts of unhealthy fats and added sugar. Remember that the key to a healthy diet is always moderation. Next time you enjoy your chocolate, remember how dark chocolate can benefit you and your body.