Chocolates are products which are derived from dried cacao seeds which are fermented, roasted, shelled or ground. These are often combined with milk, sweetener or flavoring agent.
There are many ways to produce chocolates, and the more it has gone through various processing stages, their health benefits become more diminished.
Raw dark chocolates have a lot of health benefits which you just can’t ignore. The factors that make it unhealthy are most often contributed by its unhealthful ingredients such as sugar and fructose corn syrup.
Here are some of the health benefits of chocolate:
1. It contains potent antioxidants called flavonoids
Cocoa and chocolates are the only foods which contain flavonols, a flavonoid which are potent antioxidants that can help to protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals.
2. It helps to lower blood pressure
Recent studies have shown that dark chocolate has the ability to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the primary causes of strokes and heart attacks.
3. It helps to lower bad cholesterol level
The regular consumption of dark chocolate can reduce the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) by as much as 10 percent.
4. It helps to improve mood
Eating chocolates helps to naturally improve your mood because it stimulates your pituitary glands to produce endorphins, a chemical that induces the feeling of happiness, contentment and natural high.
It is also a natural anti-depressant because it contains serotonin, a hormone and neurotransmitter which plays a big role in the regulation of mood, sleep, learning and the constriction of blood vessels.
According to a recent study, the effect of melting chocolate in the mouth is able to produce feelings of pleasure which last longer than passionate kissing.
5. It helps to prevent cancer
Chocolates have the ability to prevent cell division and reduce inflammation. These are among the top reasons why nutrition and health experts believe chocolates as one of the best cancer fighters available in addition to red wine, garlic, blueberries and tea.
6. It helps to prevents tooth decay
A study on chocolate has discovered that it is rich in theobromine, an alkaloid which helps to prevent tooth decay by killing the bacteria that caused it which is known as streptococcus mutans.
7. It helps to regulate the function of the digestive, neurological and cardiovascular systems
Chocolates are high in magnesium, a mineral which helps to regulate the normal functioning of the digestive, neurological and cardiovascular systems.
8. It helps to promote brain health
Chocolates contain epicatechin, a flavonol and antioxidant which had been found to improve memory. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, eating chocolates on a regular basis can help to protect the brain from damage after a stroke.