What Chocolate Can Do For You
By Divya Shree
Edited by Stephanie dawson
Reviewed By Nima Shei MD
Chocolate is usually liked by all age groups and genders. People and kids love chocolate to help keep fit and for its delicious taste. Chocolate can satisfy your sugar cravings and helps improve your overall health. Chocolate, especially dark, has many health benefits and it’s something that can help you maintain your fitness without extra effort. Here is what a chocolate can do for you:
1. Decreased stroke risk
A study in Sweden found that eating about 45 grams (2 bars) of dark chocolate per week can reduce the risk of stroke in women by almost 20%. Chocolate contains flavonoids which contain anti-oxidants that reduce stroke risk.
2. Improved mental function
A study in the UK found that 90 minutes after consuming dark chocolate or hot cocoa the mental function of participants improved. Scientists asked participants to count by skipping 3’s and 7’s. Participants who had cocoa showed better performance than those who did not. People in their 70’s often showed improvement in cognitive tests using chocolate.
3. Muscle Improvement
Chocolate syrup may help you recover broken muscle tissue after an intense workout. A study at Indiana University found that chocolates help reduce fatigue and increase endurance. The study was conducted on cyclists and those who had chocolate milk performed better in endurance and fatigue tests than those who did not.
4. Eradicate negative feelings
One study found that after two weeks of eating 1.5 ounce of chocolate daily there was a significant reduction in the stress hormones of participants. People who feel highly anxious also benefit from the chocolate and experience a drastic shift in their feelings. It was also found that the bacteria present in the gut became better at processing.
5. Improved good cholesterol
After one month of eating chocolate daily the ration of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol improves significantly. Studies have also found that chocolate makes the blood thinner which improves its flow inside the body.
6. Makes you thinner
It may sound surprising but chocolate can help you lose excess weight. Research at the University of California found that dark chocolate contains an interesting paradox that helps improve your metabolism by making you more sensitive to insulin, eating too much chocolate can make you gain weight because it is an energy-dense food. Consuming it in limited quantities and replacing other weight-loss foods with it is advisable.
7. Makes you live Longer
The second longest living person, Jeanne Calment, who lived for 122 years attributed chocolate as one reason behind her longevity. She stated she had 2.5 pounds of dark chocolate every week. Chocolate can improve your immune system which keeps many diseases away and help you remain healthy.
It should be noted the majority of chocolates we purchase are highly processed and high in sugar and calories. Replacing them with dark chocolate or liquid cocoa is important to obtain these benefits. Talking about Chocolate brands, I really like Madecasse, since they are a very small company in Madagascar and the chocolate comes directly from the farmers. The company is started by two Peace Corps volunteers in Madagascar and their products taste amazing. You can shop their products here on Amazon.com.