Chocolate is everywhere during the month of February, and it’s tough to not fall into temptation and eat it every time it appears in front of you. Although too much chocolate can lead to health problems, if eaten in moderation, there are many health benefits associated with consuming dark chocolate.
The next time you contemplate eating a piece of chocolate or buying it for that special person in your life, just think of the health benefits it may provide!
Improves heart health.
Dark chocolate holds a high content of flavanols — a flavonoid that helps to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to the heart and brain. Dark chocolate flavanols can reduce the risk of blood clots and stroke by making the blood less sticky.
Boosts your mood.
It’s no surprise that eating a piece of chocolate can improve our moods. But do you know the reason behind it? Dark chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins — chemicals in the brain that create feelings of pleasure.
Aids in weight loss.
Eating dark chocolate before or after a meal can trigger hormones that signal to the brain that you’re full, according to neuroscientist Will Closer, Ph.D. Of course, eating more than the recommended amount can counteract any potential weight loss.
Reduces risk of developing diabetes.
Healthy amounts of dark chocolate could improve how the body metabolizes glucose. Flavonoids in dark chocolate were found to reduce oxidative stress, which scientists think is the primary cause of insulin resistance. A 2017 study in Appetite revealed that participants who rarely consumed chocolate had almost twice the risk of developing diabetes five years down the road, compared to individuals who indulged in dark chocolate at least once per week.
Helps good cholesterol, fights bad cholesterol.
From the Journal of the American Heart Association, consuming almonds, dark chocolate and unsweetened cocoa can lead to a significant drop in low-density lipoproteins, or “bad” cholesterol. Cocoa butter in dark chocolate may also play a part in raising high-density lipoproteins.