Chocolate is something that a lot of people love – whether it’s a dark chocolate bar, a warm chocolate drink with marshmallows or a slice of moist and fudgy chocolate cake. For years, chocolate has been a favorite among many, and this is true whether chocolate is eaten by itself or mixed with desserts and drinks.
The fact that chocolate is so sinfully delicious makes some people doubt if eating chocolate is healthy at all. With people being so conscious about what they eat and how many calories they take in, chocolate is rarely classified under the “healthy” food group but what many people don’t realize is that chocolate actually has quite a number of health benefits.
Of course everything should be taken in moderation, and one should still watch out for the sugar levels mixed in the chocolate. By saying that chocolate has a lot of health benefits, this does not mean that you should eat slices upon slices of chocolate cake without restraint. It’s important to understand however that chocolate by itself is something that a lot of people can actually benefit from but it should never be taken in excess.
Here are some of the most important health benefits of chocolate:
Chocolate can lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Many people watch their diets because of the danger of high levels of blood pressure and cholesterol. Dark chocolate can actually improve your cardiovascular health by keeping your heart healthy. It lowers the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood, and it can reduce high blood pressure.
Chocolate is rich in antioxidants.
Antioxidants are big nowadays, especially because people want to prevent cancer and fight free radicals from invading the body. Cocoa happens to contain flavanoids, and these are compounds that naturally occur as antioxidants.
Chocolate is a very good anti-depressant.
Chocolate makes people happy, and for some reason, chocolate is always there to comfort people who are sad or depressed. Studies have shown that this is not just because chocolate tastes so good. Scientifically, chocolate contains the natural anti-depressant serotonin. Not only that, but chocolate also releases endorphins into the bloodstream. The endorphins are the ones that trigger the feelings of happiness.
Chocolate pumps up energy and metabolism.
People become energetic after eating chocolate, and this is not only because it’s a natural anti-depressant. When people eat chocolate, their energy levels increase and so does their metabolism.
Chocolate is high in magnesium.
Chocolate comes from cacao, so it’s worth looking at the cacao plant to uncover the health benefits of chocolate. For one, cacao is very high in magnesium, and this mineral has a lot of health benefits and can help regulate many of the organ systems.
Given all of these benefits, chocolate is obviously not something you need to take off your list of healthy foods. In fact, it has a lot of little known advantages that can make people healthier.
But, the thing is, you have to remember that chocolate is still high in calorie and fat, so the fact that it has a lot of health benefits doesn’t mean that you should just eat chocolate without restraint.