Chocolate is one of those comfort foods that so many people love. It tastes so good you want to savor every bite, but what might surprise you are the health benefits in dark chocolate. This tasty treat comes from the seed of the cocoa tree and it’s filled with nutrients and antioxidants that are actually good for your health.
In a world where so many people struggle to maintain a healthy weight, you probably hear many reasons why you should not eat chocolate. It’s nice to hear something good occasionally and here are three health benefits that show the positive side of eating dark chocolate.
Dark Chocolate Gives Your Brain a Boost
Do you sometimes have trouble concentrating or staying focused on the task you’re performing? If so, perhaps you should eat a square of dark chocolate. Cocoa, the main ingredient in this type of chocolate, contains the stimulants caffeine and theobromine.
These are known to enhance brain functions so you can think a little clearer and process things a little faster. It also contains flavanol that can improve the flow of blood to your brain to give it a boost.
Eating Dark Chocolate May Reduce Your Risks for Heart Disease
If you have high blood pressure, you know how important it is to keep it under control to reduce your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Normally, this means taking prescription medication, so the idea that eating dark chocolate could help lower your blood pressure is very exciting!
The flavonols in dark chocolate stimulates the lining of the arteries to produce a gas called Nitric Oxide (NO). This gas signals the arteries to relax and that decreases blood flow, which lowers your blood pressure to some degree. As a result, it reduces your risk for heart disease and stroke.
The cocoa used to make this chocolate also has an effect on your cholesterol levels. It seems that it has the potential to decrease oxidized LDL or bad cholesterol and increase the HDL or good cholesterol. Natural News has more information about how dark chocolate affects your cholesterol levels.
Prevent or Reduce Sun Damage
Getting too much sun is not good for you but eating a little dark chocolate may help to prevent or reduce sun damage to the skin. The flavonols that improve blood flow also reduce the risks for dehydration. It may also help to thicken the skin, all of which can help reduce the amount of damage done to your skin when spending time outside.
So, it would seem that treating yourself to a little dark chocolate every now and then is actually good for you. However, you have to be careful to not eat it every day. Chocolate also contains sugar and lots of calories that can make you gain weight if you eat it too often. It’s also important that you buy quality dark chocolate that has a high content of cocoa for the most benefits.