“All we need is love, but sometimes a little chocolate won’t hurt,” said American illustrator Charles Schultz. Chocolate has been a favorite delicacy of people for centuries. The best friend in good times, but also in difficult times. There is a myth that chocolate has a bad effect on our bodies and a widespread belief that it is harmful all the time. But, scientists prove the opposite to the joy of us all.
Dark chocolate contains a high level of flavonoid antioxidants that protect cells and tissues from free radicals and improve the work of the cardiovascular system. Chocolate that contains 70% or more cocoa butter is rich in fiber and many minerals, such as iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Raw cacao nib was one of the foods that performed best in the test against free radicals, which means that it is one of the best sources of antioxidants. This is precisely why chocolate, which has a high level of cocoa solids, is a powerful source of antioxidants.
It lowers blood pressure
Chocolate stimulates blood flow, protects and prevents clogging of arteries, and raises the level of good cholesterol. It lifts the mood and has a positive effect on brain functions.
Many studies have proven that pure cocoa and dark chocolate can improve blood pressure. Bioactive ingredients found in the cocoa fruit improve blood flow in the arteries and lower blood pressure. Cocoa powder is known for its ability to lower bad cholesterol while at the same time raising good ones. Dark chocolate also helps if you have insulin resistance because it can have a beneficial effect on alleviating symptoms.
However, milk chocolate contains a lot of sugar, and its consumption leads to a sudden spike in insulin in the body. That’s why dark chocolate causes a feeling of satiety, while milk chocolate causes a feeling of sugar addiction. This is why the best way to enjoy this delicacy without harm is homemade chocolate. You’ll need high-quality chocolate powder or chocolate beans for this treat to be a true success. The recipes can vary depending on the kind of texture you want, the level of sweetness, and the color. However, the basic chocolate requires little effort to prepare, and timewise it may take up to two hours, more or less. With this said, you can see how preparing your own chocolate not only has many health benefits but can also be a fun activity to kill some time.
Another advantage of homemade chocolate is your ability to control the amount of sugar and artificial sweeteners regular store-bought chocolate has in abundance. You can even replace sugar for good with honey, some maple syrup, or even dates (as they naturally have a rich and sweet taste).
It can protect you from the sun
In addition to the benefits you can have from dark chocolate when it comes to your body, it can also have a good effect on your external appearance. Dark chocolate is also great for the skin.
The active ingredients of dark chocolate, flavonoids, protect the skin from harmful solar radiation. They also promote better blood flow in the skin, which makes it more elastic and hydrated.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should stop using SPF just because you eat enough dark chocolate.
It helps the brain function better
In addition to being delicious, dark chocolate can have a positive effect on an individual’s cognitive functions. How is it possible? Because flavonoids improve blood flow to the brain and help it function better.
Due to the presence of caffeine in dark chocolate, it can have a positive effect on focus, mental clarity, and alertness in the short term. Therefore, the next time you want to wake up, eat a few dark chocolate cubes instead of coffee.
It prevents water retention in the body and reduces bloating due to the magnesium present in the dark chocolate. With that said, it’s a much better alternative to all the medication people facing these issues are forced to take on a daily basis.
More energy and overall good mental health
Due to its many positive active ingredients, chocolate can boost your energy levels drastically and improve your mood. Because it’s rich in minerals and antioxidants while having small amounts of caffeine, a few bites of good, high-quality chocolate can improve your stamina while working out and enhance the release of endorphins in your body as well. All this results in a better feeling and more vitality.
With this said, the only thing left to do is to take a few bites and enjoy its benefits. Who would have thought something sweet could actually do you any good?