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Health Benefits of Chocolate

Reshma Jirage Feb 14, 2020
Here's some good news for chocolate lovers. Chocolate has some splendid health benefits that you can reap by careful and wise consumption. Let's see what these benefits are.
Chocolate has been one of the most popular treats in the world for centuries. It's really difficult to find a person who is not fond of chocolate. Almost everyone is crazy about chocolate owing to its mouth-watering taste. It was assumed that consumption of chocolate was bad for one's health and hence it should be limited. It was considered responsible for dental problems and for causing obesity.
However, according to some researches, it has been found that chocolate has certain health benefits, especially if you choose to eat it wisely. This NutriNeat article will tell you a little something about the various health benefits of chocolate.

Chocolate and its Health Benefits

Chocolate is prepared from cocoa powder, which is derived from the cocoa tree. However, in addition to cocoa powder, different types of chocolate contain different ingredients and nutrients. IT is these nutrients that make chocolate good for our body. Given below is a list of some of the main nutrients in chocolate, along with the benefits that they provide to the body.
  • Cocoa, the major ingredient of chocolate, consists of antibacterial agents which prevent tooth decay.
  • Serotonin that acts as an anti-depressant is also present in chocolate. It can induce a feeling of elation and alertness and may also help to reduce the level of pain experienced.
  • Drinking a cup of hot chocolate prior to meals can help enhance your appetite.
  • Chocolate also contains vitamins A, B1, C, D and E which are necessary for the proper growth and development of the body.
  • Some varieties of chocolate contain high quantities of sugar and milk, which are both essential to maintain the level of energy in the body.
  • Dark chocolate has less amount of sugar and hence offers more health benefits.
  • Another ingredient of chocolate, phenyl ethylamine, is a mild mood elevator.
  • Cocoa butter present in chocolate contains oleic acid, which can increase the levels of good cholesterol, i.e., HDL cholesterol.
  • Caffeine, theobromine, phenylamine and tyramine found in chocolate can decrease fatigue and offer extra boosts of energy.
  • The very aroma of chocolate enhances the theta brain waves which in turn helps us relax.
  • Dark chocolate is good for the health of your heart. Eating a small bar of dark chocolate everyday can keep your heart and cardiovascular system healthy.
  • It can also improve your heart's health by lowering blood pressure and lowering the level of bad cholesterol, i.e., LDL cholesterol.
  • Nitric oxide present in chocolate can help maintain a normal blood pressure.
  • Three types of fats are found in chocolate. They are oleic acid (healthy monounsaturated fat), stearic acid and palmitic acid. Out of these three, only palmitic acid can have adverse effects on your health.
  • The minerals iron, calcium and potassium are also found in chocolate. It also contains abundant amounts of magnesium and phosphorus. Phosphorus is important for teeth and bone formation in children. In combination with calcium, it helps to keep bones healthy and strong. Magnesium can maintain the functioning of muscles and nerves. It is beneficial for strong bones and to maintain a healthy immune system.
  • Chocolate contains flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties and can help reduce the risk of cancer. Free radicals are formed in the process of breathing or by various environmental factors. This can cause an increase in LDL cholesterol oxidation and the formation of plaque on the walls of arteries. Flavonoids can repair this damage and offer protection from environmental toxins. They can also lower platelet activation and help relax the blood vessels.
Now that you know about the many benefits that chocolate has on health, you can go ahead and enjoy the delicious treat. But, keep in mind that excess should be always avoided. So eat smart and remain healthy.