10 Reasons Why Chocolate Is Good for You
If you are a lover of good chocolate it will come as no surprise that chocolate is actually good for you. Nothing that makes you feel that good can really be bad for you right? Well, maybe some things. But providing you choose the good stuff and donít overindulge chocolate actually has a surprising range of benefits.
The Mayans viewed cocoa as the food or elixir of the gods, a gift that would allow mere mortals to share some of the wisdom of the gods. The Mayans crushed the beans and added water and other flavours to make a bitter drink. It was, and still is, used in ceremonies, and was thought to give power, vitality, and act as an aphrodisiac.
When cacao came to Europe sugar or honey was quickly added to sweeten the drink but it wasnít until the mid-1800ís that chocolate as we know it today was made.
Nowadays chocolate is viewed as more junk food than health food, but it turns out it does have lots of benefits.
The Benefits of Eating Chocolate
Here are our top ten benefits of eating or drinking chocolate.
- It makes you feel good. Ok so you probably didnít need to be told that but itís nice to know that there is actual science to back this up. Apparently there is study that shows a 42g dark chocolate drink a day made people more content due to the feel good hormones it releases in the brain. So we recommend stocking up on the hot chocolate shots.
- Itís really nutritious. Good quality dark chocolate contains loads of good things including fibre, iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc and selenium. Unfortunately it's all in the cocoa so the more sugar and dairy you add the less benefits you are getting.
- It lowers blood pressure. As well as tasting great chocolate also contains a whole host of chemicals that have various effects on the body. Flavanols are known to work in the same way as blood pressure lowering drugs that stimulate the body to produce nitrous oxide in the blood.
- Itís good for heart health. Flavanols in chocolate help to keep your veins and arteries supple and this has been shown to lower the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
- It protects your skin. Now Iím not sure you should ditch the sun screen just yet but there was a study that showed that those that ate dark chocolate daily could spend more time on a sunbed before going red.
- Cocoa can help improve your memory. According to one study the flavanols in cocoa improved cognitive function in the elderly.
- Itís full of powerful antioxidants. Unprocessed cocoa beans are one of the best sources of anti-oxidents around and there is still a good does of them remaining in good quality cocoa and dark chocolate.
- It gives you a boost. Amongst other things chocolate contains caffeine which is a stimulant that can boost your energy levels and help you concentrate.
- It could help keep you slim. As with all the benefits of chocolate weíre talking dark chocolate here, at least 70% cocoa and consumed in moderation. But still, chocolate as part of your health plan sounds pretty good.
- It could help with Alzheimers. This is due to a compound called lavado that can reduce damage to the neural pathways.
So there you have it. Plenty of reasons to stock up on the good stuff. And not feel guilty about satisfying your chocolate cravings.
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