The health benefits of chocolate generally include active heart function, mood elevation, proper brain functioning. It is also useful for nervous function, it is also useful for stress relief, among others.
Chocolate is generally known as world’s famous food and it really needs no introduction. But there are plenty of people that don’t know some of the most amazing facts about this delicious sweet! It is equally dear to the young and the old and to men and women. It will be surprised to know that your favorite cocoa has been in for more than 3000 years!
The three essential components present in chocolate are cocoa, milk, and sugar. This mouthwatering treat can be very beneficial for your health.
Here Are Few Health Benefits of Chocolate
Maintains Nervous System
Chocolate contains vitamin-C and antioxidant flavonoids whose main components are polyphenols like catechins, epicatechins, and procyanidins that prevent the brain and also the nervous systems from becoming dull with age, while it is also useful in protecting from damage by free radicals. They also increase serotonin levels in your brain, which increases efficiency of the brain, keeping it active and sharp. They are also helpful in the treatment of nervous disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Improves Heart Function
Flavonoids like epicatechin and gallic acid are very effective in keeping the heart healthy, particularly against age and stress. Stearic acid, in spite of being a saturated fatty acid found in cocoa, do not contribute to cholesterol levels and it can even reduce the possibility of heart attacks. The antioxidant properties of the flavonoids also protect your heart against damages inflicted by the free radicals.
Cocoa contains caffeine which is an alkaloid, theobromine and phenylethylamine, all of which are stimulant in nature. They are very effective as mood elevators and anti-depressants. Cocoa also contains few components like Tryptophan, an amino acid which has relaxing effects. This has soothing and refreshing effects in cases of tension and stress.
Regulates Blood Pressure
Flavonoids in cocoa contain polyphenols like catechins, epicatechins, and procyanidins, which have been seen to increase the nitric oxide levels in the blood, which helps in maintaining proper blood pressure. Nitric oxide is particularly helpful in preventing thickening or coagulation of blood and maintaining fluidity, thereby decreasing pressure on the arteries and veins and finally regulating blood pressure. One more compound, Theobromine is slightly diuretic in nature. This promotes your urination, which also helps in lowering high blood pressure. On the other hand, in case of people suffering from low blood pressure, the stimulants like caffeine and theobromine, as well as the sugar present in chocolate, helps to elevate your blood pressure to correct levels.
Polyphenols like catechins, epicatechins, procyanidins, and vitamin-C present in cocoa are very essential antioxidants. They minimize the effects of free radicals and they can heal up the damage already caused by these dangerous cellular byproducts. They are also very effective in preventing the age-related disorders such as loss of vision and hearing, dullness of the brain, macular degeneration, and nervous disorders.
Flavonoids present in cocoa are good anti-carcinogens. They prevent the growth of cancerous cells. This is aided by their antioxidant properties, which is also help neutralize carcinogenic effects of free radicals.
Treats Cough & Cold
Cocoa, again due to vitamin-C, alkaloids, and flavonoids present in it, gives relief from coughs and also from colds. Few of the fatty acids such as stearic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acid in it relieves throat sore due to continuous coughing and colds.
Dark and sugar-free chocolate is very bitter to taste due to the presence of alkaloids like caffeine and others. The bitterness of these alkaloids neutralizes the sugar in your blood. Moreover, being a stimulant in nature, they generally stimulates the secretion of bile and insulin, which again helps to break down the sugar and lower its levels in the blood.
Improves Energy Levels
Few fatty acids like stearic acid and palmitic acid and oleic acid helps to put on weight. It give energy, without the risk of accumulating cholesterol, as far as pure cocoa is concerned. When cocoa is made into chocolate, the amount of cholesterol level you get depends on the type of milk and milk products are used in it and the exercises you do. The sugar level in chocolate also gives energy and relaxes the body.
While chocolate in particular, has numerous potential health benefits, it is important to keep in mind that it should still be considered as one of the dessert foods. All type of chocolate contain a high amount of calories and saturated fat and like any dessert, should be consumed in moderation. Keep the serving size to 1-ounce, and enjoy on occasion with health benefits.