5 Health Benefits of Chocolate
Everyone who’s trying to keep fit, often scold themselves for eating even a few pieces of their favorite sweets. While bitter chocolate is allowed even for those who are losing weight, milk chocolate found a bad reputation. What are the benefits and harms of dark and milk chocolate for health, body and beauty? And what happens to our skin when we eat our favorite sweets?
1. Chocolate protects heart health
The study shows that people who eat up to 100 g of chocolate per day are 12% less likely to suffer from heart attacks, strokes or other cardiovascular diseases than people who don’t eat these sweets at all. The reason for this is in flavonoids — a type of antioxidant found in chocolate, tea, and red wine that can help stimulate blood flow by eliminating harmful substances called free radicals. Free radicals destroy cells, causing various diseases. Most flavonoids are found in the bitter chocolate (containing at least 70% cocoa).
2. Chocolate enhances brain function
Chocolate is one of the richest natural sources of magnesium, as a mineral which is necessary for brain health. Cocoa beans also contain caffeine (about 43 mg per 100 g of dark chocolate), so even consuming a small amount — one or two squares a day — can help increase concentration and alertness. In addition to that, cocoa also improves brain function and invigorates, being a healthy alternative to coffee. The key chemical compound in chocolate, theobromine, has a stimulating effect on the brain, same as caffeine.
3. Chocolate strengthens dental health
Contrary to popular belief, chocolate is good for teeth. In 2007, American scientists discovered that theobromine, a stimulant found in chocolate, strengthens tooth enamel more effectively than fluoride. This protects teeth from erosion by acids. You will be surprised, but chocolate naturally contains fluorine and in its bitter varieties there is less sugar than in an apple. Moreover, cocoa also contains substances that fight bacteria in the oral cavity.
4. Chocolate preserves skin health and youth
Eating dark chocolate (with a cocoa content of at least 70%) has many benefits for your beauty. It can increase the moisture level in the skin, relieve acne, protect from sunlight and reduce wrinkles. Rich in vitamins A, B1, C, D, and E, as well as iron and calcium, chocolate nourishes your skin from the inside to make up for moisture loss. Chocolate antioxidants also prevent earlier aging — they protect cells from damage by free radicals and even ultraviolet rays.
5. Chocolate helps maintain slimness
Of course, if you eat whole chocolate bars daily and wait for you to lose weight, this will not happen. But don’t give up on treats at all. Perhaps the most surprising of all the beneficial properties of cocoa is the acceleration of metabolism. Nutritionists recommend consuming no more than 30 grams of chocolate per day. This is an absolutely safe dose for everyone who is fighting for a slim body.