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Do you dream of land made entirely of chocolate? Or maybe snatching the last golden ticket for Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory? If so, you’re not alone.
Chocolate is one of the most loved foods in the U.S. Each year, Americans consume over 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate. And Europeans eat much more.
Even the Aztecs adored chocolate. They referred to chocolate milk as the drink of the gods.
Today, from a young age, we’re told eating chocolate is bad for our health. But is this true?
Continue reading to see why eating chocolate comes with health benefits.
Antioxidants in Dark Chocolate
First of all, what are antioxidants?
Simply, antioxidants are compounds that can stop free radicals from damaging your cells. Without them, the free radicals can cause heart disease or even cancer.
Antioxidants can be found in foods. But dark chocolate contains more than most other foods, including many fruits such as blueberries.
Although milk chocolate does contain antioxidants, the darker the chocolate, the more antioxidants it contains.
Cocoa powder is also rich in antioxidants.
A Great Source of Nutrients
Once again, the darker the chocolate, the better.
White and milk chocolate both contain nutrients. But because they both contain more sugar than dark chocolate, dark chocolate can offer more health benefits.
The main nutrients found in chocolate are iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium.
Zinc is good for your metabolism and immune system. Iron produces hemoglobin that pushes blood around your body. Magnesium develops muscle and energy production, and calcium adds strength to your bones.
Different types of chocolate contain different nutrients and ingredients.
Lower Your Blood Pressure
Studies show that eating dark chocolate daily can reduce your blood pressure.
The key ingredient in reducing blood pressure is cocoa. Within cocoa are flavonoids; these help blood vessels to relax, therefore lowering blood pressure.
By lowering your blood pressure, you are also reducing the risk of a stroke.
Boost Your Mood
Have you ever eaten chocolate to cheer yourself up? If you have, there’s a reason why it worked.
Chocolate’s secret ingredient for lifting your spirits is tryptophan. This substance triggers serotonin, also known as the happy hormone.
But there’s another way chocolate boosts your mood.
The sugar within chocolate releases insulin and helps the tryptophans flow to the brain. In return, this triggers happiness and gives you a boost of energy.
Protect Your Skin From the Sun
Eating chocolate doesn’t only come with health benefits; it comes with skin benefits too.
Studies have been done to prove flavanols in chocolate protect the skin from the sun and even help blow flow around it.
The concept that chocolate is bad for your skin and causes acne is incorrect.
Eating chocolate regularly comes with plenty of health benefits. But you should also note that this delicious chocolate should be consumed as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle for optimal health.
It’s also important to remember that each chocolate is made differently. Some may be richer in nutrients, while others might be better at giving you that midweek boost of energy.
To find out more about chocolate or health benefits, continue reading our in-depth articles for free!