I bet you read the title to this article and got super excited (I know I did when I saw I had the opportunity to investigate and write about it!). Let’s face it, chocolate is incredibly delicious and hard to resist however, next time you eat a piece of chocolate, you may not have to feel so guilty about it (winning). This article explores the 3 reasons this treat is not bad for a healthy lifestyle.
Chocolate is made from tropical Theobroma cacao tree seeds.
It’s earliest use dates to the Olmec civilization in Mesoamerica. Chocolate has become a popular food product that millions enjoy every day. Chocolate receives a lot of bad press because of its high fat and sugar content. Its consumption has been associated with acne, obesity, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and diabetes. However, more and more studies are being released stating that it is not all bad.
Chocolate’s antioxidant potential may have an array of health benefits.
The higher the cocoa content, as in dark chocolate, the more benefits there are. Dark chocolate may also contain less fat and sugar but always remember to check the label. Eating chocolate may lower cholesterol levels, prevent cognitive decline, and reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular problems.
It can reduce cholesterol
One study published in The Journal of Nutrition, suggests that chocolate consumption might help reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, also known as bad cholesterol. The authors discovered that regular consumption of bars containing plant sterols and cocoa flavanols, as part of a low-fat diet, may support cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol and improving blood pressure.
Scientists from Harvard Medical School have suggested that drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day could help keep the brain healthy and reduce memory decline in older people. The researchers found that it helped improve blood flow to the brain where it was needed. It was indicated that cocoa extract, called lavado, might reduce or prevent damage to nerve pathways found in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Canadian scientists also conducted a study, which found that people who ate it were 22% less likely to experience a stroke than those who did not. Also, those who had a stroke but regularly consumed chocolate we 46% less likely to die as a result.
And an extra reason for pregnant mamas, eating 30g every day during pregnancy might benefit fetal growth and development according to a study presented at the 2016 Pregnancy Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in Atlanta.
So, what are you waiting for? Go and grab the darn chocolate bar. Just remember… everything in moderation and if you get any food cravings for chocolate, follow these food craving tips.