Superfoods are not just limited to green leafy vegetables and dairy products, but they also include those yummy things, which we always have been told not to eat, like chocolates. Yes, chocolates have also been researched lately as a super food, which is proficient in curing a number of disorders. The clandestine source behind the superpowers of this delectable super food is cacao. Well, let’s discover how chocolate can favor us.
12 Health Benefits of Chocolate
1. Good for Heart
Eating moderate amount of chocolate, twice or thrice in a week, reduces the risk of heart attack and prevents blood clotting.
2. Helps in Regulating Blood Sugar
Dark chocolate maintains the health of blood vessels and safeguards an individual from type-2 diabetes. The flavanoids that dark chocolate contain induces insulin sensitivity, which averts the risk of diabetes.
3. Full of Antioxidants
Being rich in antioxidants, chocolate combats free radicals in the body that otherwise damages the cells. Eating antioxidant-rich foods can prevent a number of cancers and hold back premature aging.
4. Good for Brain
Dark chocolate is good for brain health too as it increases the blood flow in the body. Eating chocolates also makes you feel happy as it secretes a chemical, called endorphin, in brain.
5. High in Vitamins and Minerals
Chocolate is the natural container of vitamins and minerals in high quantity, which assist in maintaining the overall well-being. Chocolate is well-off in iron, potassium, copper, and magnesium. All these nutrients are necessary to avoid a number of ailments, like blood pressure, anaemia, and heart disorders.
6. Prevents Cancer
Cocoa is rich in a compound, called pentameric procyanidin, and hence; chocolates, which contain 60% of cocoa, are excellent for health. This compound is helpful in suppressing cancer cell growth and its distribution in the whole body.
7. Controls Cough
Chocolate is the most delectable way of reducing the coughing fits by reducing the activity of the vagus nerve.
8. Improves Blood Flow
Consuming chocolates can actually increase the flow of blood in cerebral arteries, thereby letting the brain to function more properly.
9. Protects the Skin against the Sun
The bioactive elements in dark chocolates are effective in safeguarding your skin from sun burns. The flavonoids found in dark chocolate increases hydration and density of the skin.
10. Improves Mood
The endorphin released in the brain after having chocolate is a superb example that chocolate helps in recuperating the mood of an individual. Endorphins are effective in making you happy. It also has serotonin, which is an anti-depressant.
11. Reduces Cholesterol
Dark chocolate is helpful in reducing bad effects of bad cholesterol in the body by eroding it out of the body.
12. Prevents Tooth Decay
You might be amazed, but yes, chocolate prevents tooth decay because of a compound that it contains, called theobromine. Theobromine eliminates bacteria from mouth that are responsible for tooth decay.
How To Choose The Best Chocolate For Health Benefits
After discussing 12 health benefits of chocolate, we want to ensure you choose the healthiest option. Most chocolate bars you find on a shelf in the supermarket have little nutrition to offer and are mainly packed with fat and sugar. These ingredients completely go against the benefits we’ve previously discussed.
Choose chocolate packed with cacao beans that contain healthy nutrients and aren’t processed. The higher the percentage, the healthier the chocolate. Some brands can contain as much as 80 percent beans. Cocoa butter is an ingredient that makes us crave more; it smells delicious and is moreish, though it contains little nutrients and is the least healthy ingredient of chocolate. During your search for healthy chocolate, look for bars containing a small amount of cocoa butter. Search the ingredients and see what position this ranks at. The earlier to the start of the list, the more contents are used.
Cacao powder is your best friend and one of the healthiest components of chocolate. It’s bursting with nutrients that are non-fat and is a rich source of antioxidants. You’ll also find elements of potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron within this powder. This ingredient enhances the flavor, though it’s not as sweet as cocoa powder, but a healthier alternative.
You can also make your discovery healthier by choosing organic dark chocolate that hasn’t been exposed to chemicals or pesticides. As a general rule of thumb, chocolate works great with limited ingredients, such as: vanilla beans, cacao powder, and cocoa butter. If your ingredients list names you can’t even pronounce, put it back and continue your search for a healthier alternative.