Many people think that eating chocolate is useless, and it only brings in extra calories and unwanted kilograms. People also think that eating chocolate is bad when you are trying to adhere to a strict diet in order to lose weight. The gist of the matter is many people think a diet and chocolate can’t work together. Chocolate is delicious and smooth, and many enjoy the taste. Can finally something really tasty be good for you?
Chocolate is made from plants, and more specifically from the seeds of a plant called Theobroma cacao, which means it has most of the health benefits of dark green leafy vegetables.
Benefits come from flavonoids, pigments found in plants that act as antioxidants to help reduce damage to your body. Chocolate contains fat due to the cocoa powder, but it also contains high level of catechins, chemicals that lowers the risk of heart disease.
In a study by Holland’s National Institute of Public Health and Environment, chocolate was found to have four times the antioxidants of green tea. Catechins are powerful antioxidants in the prevention of cancer and heart disease.
100 mg of green tea contain 13.9 milligrams of catechins.
100 mg of dark chocolate has 53.5 milligrams of catechins.
Other facts to mention:
The smell of chocolate may increase the brain waves, resulting in relaxation and relieving of stress.
Chocolate contains phenyl ethylamine, which is a mood elevator.
The cocoa butter in chocolate contains oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fat which may raise good cholesterol, HDL.
Drinking a cup of hot chocolate before meals may reduce appetite.
The carbohydrates in chocolate raise serotonin levels in the brain, resulting in a sense of well-being and happiness.
You must note that I am talking about dark chocolate bars, so do not think it is the same with chocolate milk. Dark chocolate contains more cacao and less sugar than milk chocolate.
It is very important you remember that moderation is the key. Chocolate is good for you, but don’t just binge on it.
It is still a calorie-dense food, and will cause a weight increase if you eat too much, and might also be responsible for acne problems if you are sensitive to it. You have to read the label and watch out the total daily energy expenditure, and the total daily calorie intake. One medium bar a day is good enough for your health.
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