Chocolate is very good for you. It contains epicatechins and flavonoids, which are very useful to your body in a variety of ways. They improve the flow of blood throughout your body. By removing the plaque that tends to form on the inside of your arteries, epicatechins and flavonoids can lower your blood pressure and relieve the workload your heart has daily. That lowers your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
Another advantage of flavonoids is that they are good for your skin. They protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun, protecting you from skin cancer in the long run. This stuff can even lower your body mass index (BMI), according to some studies. These studies have found that people who eat chocolate at least five days a week tend to have lower BMIs.
It doesn’t end there, either. Chocolate is also effective against stress and is known to lower the levels of stress hormones in your system, thereby improving your mood when you are under stress. Maybe that’s why some people crave chocolate in high-stress situations.
When you think about all the benefits of chocolate, you can see that it does make you not only feel younger but also look it. It helps you with your wrinkles, weight and heart health. It is like a mystical fountain of youth.
Some recent research carried out by Penn State University was interesting in terms of the extra benefits of chocolate. The research was carried out on mice, and found that the mice, in general, had lower rates of inflammation when their diet included cocoa than when it didn’t.
We can find the human equivalent of this in the act of drinking hot chocolate every day. Having a cup of hot chocolate at least once a day could help prevent some nasty diseases, such as diabetes.
It’s pretty obvious that chocolate is beneficial to our health. Does that mean that all chocolate is healthy? It’s not as simple as getting some chocolate powder and adding it to a glass of milk. If you want to get the most out of chocolate, you should be able to tell the healthy kind apart from the unhealthy kind. Here are some tips from Chuao to help you be a little more discerning with your chocolate.
When Chocolate is Healthy
- Dark chocolate with a minimum of 70 percent cacao content is the healthiest. It has the right amount of flavonoids to keep you healthy.
- You should ideally take chocolate in the afternoon or after your dinner as dessert. Keep it to a maximum of one ounce per serving.
- You can add cocoa powder to a mug of skim or 2 percent milk. Do not add sugar as that will increase the calories count.
- Eat chocolate every day to enjoy the many health benefits the sweet offers.
When Chocolate is Not Healthy
Do not choose for milk chocolate bars from the shelves at your supermarket or wherever you buy candy. These tend to have milk and sugar added and lack in polyphenols that are good for you. If the chocolate has milk and sugar, avoid whenever possible.