Chocolate gets an exceedingly bad reputation for nothing. Since childhood, we’ve been educated with the seemingly never-ending list of reasons we should avoid chocolate — cavities and weight gain being two of the biggest disadvantages. It’s time to reeducate ourselves. Lesson #1: there is no room for guilt in this kitchen. Lesson #2: chocolate is actually good for you. It has untold benefits, which nobody talks about for some reason. Chocolate is scientifically proven to have several health benefits, especially when the concentration of cocoa is 70% or higher. You can have your cake and eat it too now — read below for all the chocolate benefits you didn’t know about!
1. It’s A Store Of Flavonoids
Chocolate is rich in plant nutrients called flavonoids that have great health benefits, and are typically found in fruits, vegetables and tea. Flavonoids work as anti-viral, anti-tumour, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. There are two types of flavonoids which are found in cocoa – flavanols and flavonols. Flavanols are more prominent in chocolate and are the main source of antioxidants.
2. Lowers The Risk Of Heart Disease
Chocolate can reduce the risk of heart disease. The flavanols which are found in abundance in chocolate have antioxidant benefits that increase the flexibility of veins and arteries. This helps lower blood pressure, and reduces the risk of blood clots, and lowers the overall level of cholesterol -– all factors that can lead to heart disease.
3. Protects Your Skin
The popular myth states that chocolate is bad for your skin, and can cause breakouts. They call it a myth for a reason. In fact, the flavanols in chocolate are great for your skin. They fight inflammation and protect the skin from sun damage, increase hydration, and improve blood flow to the skin, all which contribute to a softer, clearer, and more even skin tone.
4. It Can Help You Lose Weight
No, we promise we’re not joking. Chocolate can actually help you lose weight — in small doses, of course. The flavonoids in dark chocolate help reduce our cravings for all things sugary, salty or fatty. Indulging in three to four ounces of dark chocolate per day won’t just satisfy your dessert pangs, but can also prevent overeating.
5. Lifts Up Your Mood
Unsurprisingly, chocolate can ease stress and improve your mood. This is probably why it’s a food that’s usually associated with celebration and happiness! Dark chocolate produces a hormone called serotonin in your body, which creates feelings of contentment and pleasure. The urge to empty out entire boxes of chocolate when you’re sad isn’t unnatural at all — go ahead the next time you’re not feeling your best.