For a long time, chocolate was seen as an unhealthy treat that should only be consumed from time to time. The thought was that it provided us with no real nutritional value, but that is no longer the case. While there are still a lot of unhealthy, non-nutritional types of chocolate out there. Dark chocolate that has a cocoa content of 70% or more can provide us with several benefits to our health. Here are some of the health benefits of dark chocolate:
Improves Our Mood
This one is hardly a hidden secret, right? Who doesn’t feel better once they get to eat some chocolate? But there is some science behind this feeling. Dark chocolate contains phenyl ethylamine (otherwise known as PEA). This chemical is the same as the one that our brain releases when we are falling in love.
Helps Our Brain
One of the health benefits of dark chocolate is that it can prevent memory loss in older age. This is because it contains flavanols. It’s also thought that because dark chocolate is an anti-inflammatory that it helps treat injuries such as concussions.
Prevent Against Diabetes
Who would have thought that a food so associated with unhealthy eating would do this? Studies have found that dark chocolate improves the insulin sensitivity in our bodies. Remember to eat in moderation though, otherwise you won’t see these benefits.
Reduce Stress in Expectant Mothers
A study in Finland found that eating chocolate reduced the stress levels of women who were expecting, in a significant way. Another interesting find from the study was that the babies of these mothers smiled more than the non-chocolate eaters…
Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate: Weight Loss
Obviously this won’t happen if you are scoffing down numerous bars of chocolate a day. But a neuroscientist has found that putting a small bit of dark chocolate in your mouth and letting it melt will trick our brains in to thinking that we are full.
Protection for Our Skin
Flavanols in dark chocolate help prevent from skin damage that the sun inflicts on us. Eating chocolate won’t be enough though, you’ll still need sunscreen.
Eating chocolate that is rich in cocoa will help cholesterol levels. This is because it increases the amount of good cholesterols while reducing bad cholesterol levels in our body.
Reduce the Risk of Strokes
This has been a well-advertised one in recent years, but if you missed it – dark chocolate can help prevent the risk of a stroke. Tests showed that 17% of men in the study had lowered their risk thanks to dark chocolate.