Do you ever get up in the night and sneak a couple pieces of chocolate and feel a little guilty? Lucky for you in the past 20-30 years there is growing evidence that some chocolate is actually considered good for your health.
Chocolate come from tropical Theobroma cocoa seeds. The earliest use of chocolate dates back to the Olmec civilization in Mesoamerica between 1200-400 B.C.E. Following the 15th/16th centuries chocolate became very sought out, specifically in Europe. Today, the average American consuming this product is around 4.5 kg (close to ten pounds) a year!
So why do you crave this delicacy so much? The answer provides its richness in flavonoids and flavanols (such as anthocyanidin and epicatechins). These substances are thought to have antioxidant properties, which can help neutralize free radicals which damage cells around the body. This can lead to oxidative stress which is closely associated with heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke, immune deficiency, and unfortunately a lot more.
Studies show that chocolate can reduce both blood pressure and stroke. These cocoa flavanols are reportedly helpful in reducing inflammation and relaxing blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure and total cholesterol and increases high density lipoproteins.
There may be a link between eating chocolate and improved cognitive brain function. So not only is smart to eat chocolate but you can also enjoy it! Choose pure dark chocolate as many brands of chocolate nowadays contain ingredients that are not good for you and defeat these purposes listed anyways. Hot chocolate could be a good choice for you as well, but again make sure it has good ingredients.
Too much of anything could be detrimental to your health, that being said, too much chocolate implemented into your diet could lead to obesity, tooth decay, and diabetes. Increased risk of forming calcium oxalate kidney stones, as chocolate is high in oxalate. To gain benefits without any of these negative outcomes, you can purchase cocoa-rich powders and supplements that can be added to beverages. So, in moderation like most things in life, enjoy your sweet late-night snack!
Content Courtesy of Chiro-Trust.org. All Rights Reserved.
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