Yes, you read that right. Chocolate has it’s health benefits.
Now that doesn’t mean you should rush right out, load up a cart with everything chocolate and dash home to gorge yourself into a frenzy. Chocolate (plain chocolate) is good… in moderation!
How many of you dieters want chocolate for Valentine’s Day now? I know I do. This chic loves her sweets although too many can do a number on your hips. Ok, your waistline, thighs and buttocks too. hahaa! But now I don’t have to give hubby the ‘what for’ when he hands me the ‘goods’ this year.
Here’s the health benefits:
Consumers who eat chocolate regularly (in moderate amounts) tend to be thinner than those who don’t eat chocolate. Studies have shown that women who ate chocolate had the lowest BMI. Just make sure you’re not replacing lean meat and fresh fruits and vegetables with chocolate. And that you’re exercising regularly (ideally for one hour, 5 days a week).
Cacao, like many other plant-based foods, are full of antioxidants which, as you may already know, play a key role in supporting a healthy immune system. With antioxidants, the deeper the color, the richer the antioxidant levels. So, dark chocolate is definitely the way to go here. Unfortunately, milk chocolate doesn’t have nearly the benefits as dark.
Obviously, the less processing involved, the better. And because milk chocolate has added milk, it negates the health benefits. Raw chocolate and truffles not only taste great but are great for you!
Lowers Blood Pressure
The flavonoids in dark chocolate can lower blood pressure and improve your LDL cholesterol levels too. But, you can’t get carried away because as with red wine, although a little is good, you can’t jump right in and have as much as you want. You still have to think of the calorie count here. Too much can do more harm than good!
Prevents Tooth Decay
I know, how can this be? It’s actually the theobromide compound in chocolate that has been proven effective in eliminating that nasty cavity causing bacteria streptococcus mutans. Now don’t go throwing away your toothpaste because chocolate DOES contain sugar and in order to keep those choppers in top form, it’s best to brush and floss regularly as instructed by your dentist.
Everyone knows that chocolate tastes good and what tastes good gives a sense of pleasure. Allowing a piece of chocolate to melt in your mouth creates a chemical reaction in your brain due to the serotonin (also known as natures antidepressant) contained in chocolate. And so, endorphins stimulated by the pleasure you get from eating chocolate can make you feel more relaxed and of course happy. Ahhh!
You know, that stuff found in dark leafy vegetables? This may come as a surprise but dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium — a mineral that plays a role in more than 300 chemical reactions in your body.
Whats magnesium good for? Well, it helps regulate the cardiovascular and neurological systems (as part of the metabolic process) that converts food into energy. Your nerves and muscles need magnesium to function properly, and it helps regulate your heart rhythm.
Now that you’re informed about the health benefits of chocolate, go ahead, have that little square, savor it. Make it part of your “me time”. Enjoy!
© 2013, Dee @ Bella Savvy. All rights reserved.