For centuries, chocolate has been a sweet tasting sensation. One thing that clouds the popularity of this all-time favorite treat is the belief that anything that tastes really good must be bad for your health. For this reason, many people are cautious when devouring chocolates, especially those who are health- conscious.
But science has discovered that chocolate might not be so bad after all. In fact, there are health benefits that are associated with chocolates and it can be beneficial for those with a love for chocolate. This is particularly true if chocolate fans pick and consume chocolates wisely.
The good news is that dark chocolate contains over 300 chemicals, many of which have been investigated by scientific organizations and universities. So far, this is what researchers have discovered regarding the health benefits of dark chocolate:
1. It was found that the main component of chocolate, the cacao, has antibacterial activity that actually helps fight tooth decay. So much for the traditional caution that eating too chocolate can ruin your teeth.
2. Chocolate is believed to be a mood elevator because it contains phenylethylamine, an amino acid that influences neurotransmitter levels and lifts mood.
3. The aroma of chocolate actually causes people to relax and lowers stress levels, due to the fact that it increases theta brain waves.
4. Contrary to popular belief, chocolate can be good to people having problems with bad cholesterol. The health food contains a kind of monounsaturated fat, called oleic acid, which raises good cholesterol levels in the blood.
5. Chocolate can really be good for people who are weight-conscious. One hot chocolate cup taken before meals can help reduce appetite.
6. Chocolate also contains flavonoids, which are instrumental in keeping blood vessels more elastic.
7. Chocolate contains chemicals called that help increase antioxidants levels in the bloodstream.
8. It was also discovered that men can add one year to their lives if they consume chocolates.
9. Chocolate contains carbohydrates, which are good for maintaining a sense of well-being, because carbohydrates help increase serotonin levels found in the brain.
10. Chocolate has been used by the Mexican healers to treat insect bites and bronchitis.
In addition to the above findings, there are other research studies that disprove some half-truths about chocolate. Here they are:
1. Although chocolate can contain stimulants including bromine and caffeine, these are present only in tiny quantities and consuming chocolate does not lead to nervous tension.
2. Chocolate is not addictive.
3. Chocolate does not contain chemicals that cause acne.
4. Chocolate doesn’t make anyone high. You would have to consume about 25 lbs. in one sitting, a huge quantity, to experience any noticeable effect.
5. Chocolate will not increase bad cholesterol levels and it actually contains a neutral fat called stearic acid.
But just like any other food, moderation is the rule. Chocolate has some cautions too, along with the many health benefits found:
1. People with migraines are not advised to eat chocolate as it can trigger a migraine.
2. If chocolate is consumed with milk, it can contain extra sugar, saturated fat, and high calories.