Health Benefits of Chocolate You Might Not Know About

Health Benefits of Chocolate You Might Not Know AboutHealth Benefits of Chocolate You Might Not Know About

As if we needed any more reasons to love chocolate, studies continue to prove that chocolate is not just delicious but healthy as well and the secret behind it’s amazing benefits come straight from the cacao! Dark chocolate has a long history of medicinal benefits such as mood improvements, boosting heart heath and more. However, not everyone is able to tolerate the taste of cacao. So, if you’re looking to chocolate for it’s health benefits, stick to a dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cacao and because of it’s high fat and sugar content, eat within moderation.

Improve Mood

According to research, eating chocolate regularly can improve your mood, especially during stressful situations. Researches gathered a group of participants and gave them a cocoa flavanol drink before a sustained attention test. The results found that those who consumed the drink had overall improved cognitive performances and were found to have less mental fatigue.

Reduces Hunger

Surprisingly, the consumption of chocolate has been linked to reduced appetite. One study has found that eating dark chocolate two hours before a meal, participants had a 17 percent lower calorie intake at the following meal. Dark chocolate offers a filling of satiety, which reduces cravings for sweets, salty and fatty foods.

Cardiovascular Health 

One study has found that eating a square of dark chocolate a day lowered blood pressure and reduce the risk for stroke and heart attack by 39 percent, which many believe is due to the flavonoids and antioxidant compounds that improve the flexibility of veins and arteries. Regularly eating dark chocolate has also been linked to improved cardiovascular health. The polyphenols found in cacao reduce the bad cholesterol LDL while improving good HDL cholesterol levels.

Promotes Glowing Skin

Chocolate has also been shown to promote glowing, healthy skin, by improving healthy blood flow. Researchers studied two groups of women, one group consumed a high flavanol cacao powder while the other consumed a low flavanoid cacao powder for a period of 12 weeks. Those who consumed the high flavanoid powder had an average of a 25 percent reduction in UV-induced erythema (sunburn) when exposed to a solar simulator whereas the low flavanoid group showed no change. Those consuming the high flavanoid powder also had improved skin density and well hydrated skin.

Anti-aging Benefits

Cacao contains high levels of polyphenol antioxidants (which belong to the same group of antioxidants as green tea and red wine). The anthocyanins and catechins work to help protect our cells from premature oxidation and or destruction resulting in healthier,younger looking skin.

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