There’s no way that something as tasty as chocolate can be good for you, but it’s true. Chocolate, mainly dark chocolate with high cacao percentage, is actually a pretty powerful medicine. According to research, it can positively affect both your body and mind. If you keep your intake moderate (a few pieces a day) chocolate can be very beneficial. Here are just some of the benefits of this heavenly treat:
It can help your weight maintenance
While chocolate is often connected to weight gain, it doesn’t have to be its main cause. Experts agree that eating a piece of dark chocolate 20 minutes before and after a meal can reduce your appetite and prevent cravings. Why? Chocolate has the ability to tell your brain “Okay, I’m done eating”. However, this only applies to plain cacao-rich chocolate. Milk chocolate or chocolate treats will just raise your blood sugar and leave you craving even more sweets.
It boosts your brain power
Want to be the smartest person around? Stock up on dark chocolate. Thanks to the high flavanol content in the snack and the fact that it boosts blood flow to the brain and makes you mentally stronger, dark chocolate is one excellent brain food. Its properties were even tested with Alzheimer’s patients when it was discovered that high flavanol content enhances the functioning of the part of the brain that’s associated with age-related decline. However, while this is good news, chocolate can’t prevent or cure this dangerous disease, but it seems to have some positive results in studies around those with Alzheimer’s.
It improves blood flow and blood pressure
The flavanols in dark chocolate are not only stimulating for the brain. The lining of arteries that produces nitric oxide (NO) can be simulated with chocolate. The role of NO is to relax arteries, lower the resistance of blood flow and reduce blood pressure. According to studies, cocoa and dark chocolate can improve blood flow and blood pressure, but not by a lot. Luckily, there are also chocolates with supplements on the market that can have a little bit better effect. Depending on what bothers you, you can choose from calming melatonin dark chocolate to invigorating blueberry chocolate.
It protects your skin
Again with the flavonoids, but they are just that powerful and important. Another thing this substance can do is get to your skin and protect you from sun damage. Of course, you shouldn’t skip sunscreen altogether but chocolate can provide extra protection. Also, dark chocolate is great for stress, which also keeps the skin looking fresh, youthful and plump.
It supplies you with energy
Do you want to cut your coffee intake, but still need a little help waking up in the morning, turn to dark chocolate. Every 100g of dark chocolate has 43mg of caffeine. Dark chocolate could also be useful for athletes who need a little push at the gym or on the field. Since it can boost blood flow and carry oxygen to the muscles fast, you can boost your performance with some chocolate. Next time you’re shopping for energy bars, opt for dark chocolate instead.
It makes you happier
Sure, chocolate tastes amazing so it makes you happy. However, that’s not the only reason. Chocolate contains various compounds that make this snack irresistible. For instance, phenylethylamine is an organic compound that stimulates the body’s natural feeling you experience when falling in love. When combined with dopamine that exists in the brain, phenylethylamine can also help you fight depression. And if we count other compounds in chocolate that promote happiness and give your body that recognizable high, it’s easy to see why chocolate is a true champion in boosting mood.
When you look at all the benefits, you will see that dark chocolate can be your true ally while you’re trying to stay healthy, happy and strong. Stock up on high-quality dark chocolate and you will always have the tastiest medicine at your arm’s reach.