You do not need to feel so bad about it the next time you eat a piece of chocolate. A variety of health benefits can be correlated with this tasty treat, considering its bad reputation for causing weight gain.
Chocolate is made from the tropical seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree.
In Mesoamerica, its earliest use dates back to the Olmec culture. Thanks to its special, creamy, and sweet taste, chocolate is becoming a common food commodity that millions enjoy every day.
But what is the impact on our well-being of consuming chocolate?
The latest research shows that there could be some health benefits of chocolate. Because of its high fat and sugar content, chocolate gets a lot of bad press. Acne, obesity, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease,
and diabetes has been linked with its use.
It’s not all bad news there are some advantages of eating chocolate as follow:
Consumption of chocolate can help decrease cholesterol levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as’ bad cholesterol.’ Any impact on cholesterol levels is achieved by chocolate bars containing plant sterols (PS) and cocoa flavanols (CF).
As part of a low-fat diet, daily consumption of chocolate bars containing PS and CF can support cardiovascular health by reducing cholesterol and improving blood pressure.
In older people, drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day will help keep the brain safe and reduce the deterioration in memory. Hot chocolate stimulated the flow of blood to areas of the brain where it was needed.
They will require greater blood supply since various parts of the brain need more energy to accomplish their tasks. In diseases like Alzheimer’s, this relationship, called neurovascular coupling, can play an important role.
Chocolate intake may help to reduce by one-third the risk of developing heart disease. Lower risk of cardiometabolic disorders may be related to higher levels of chocolate intake.
People who ate one helping of chocolate were 22 percent less likely than those who did not have a stroke. Also, 46 percent less likely to die from a stroke were those who had about two ounces of chocolate a week.
Fetal Growth and Development
Fetal growth and development might benefit from eating 30 g (about one ounce) of chocolate every day during pregnancy.
Chocolate can help athletes use less oxygen to travel a greater distance.
During exercise training, a little dark chocolate might increase the availability of oxygen.
Researchers who researched cyclists in the United Kingdom doing time trials found that the riders used less oxygen while riding at a moderate pace after eating dark chocolate and also covered more distance in a two-minute flat-out time trial.
Light vs. Dark Chocolate
Light or milk chocolate manufacturers say that their product is healthier for health because it contains milk, and protein and calcium are given by milk. Dark chocolate supporters point to the higher iron content and antioxidant levels in their product.
Do they equate to the nutrients?
Here are some sample amounts of nutrients in dark and light chocolate:
|Nutrient||Light (100 g)||Dark (100 g)|
|Energy||531 kcal||556 kcal|
|Protein||8.51 g||5.54 g|
|Carbohydrate||58 g||60.49 g|
|Fat||30.57 g||32.4 g|
|Sugars||54 g||47.56 g|
|Iron||0.91 mg||2.13 mg|
|Phosphorus||206 mg||51 mg|
|Potassium||438 mg||502 mg|
|Sodium||101 mg||6 mg|
|Calcium||251 mg||30 mg|
|Cholesterol||24 mg||5 mg|
The darker the chocolate, the higher the cocoa concentration, and so,
potentially, the higher the antioxidant amount in the bar would be. In commercially available chocolate bars, however, nutrients differ widely, depending on the brand and style you select. Checking the label is best if you want to be sure of the nutrients.
If consumed in abundance, chocolate that is high in sugar can contribute to tooth decay. Chocolate can have health advantages, but it may also have certain Negative Effects:
Lower body mass index (BMI) and central body fat are correlated with chocolate intake. However, owing to its sugar and fat content, chocolate can have a high-calorie count. Anyone seeking to slim down or maintain their weight should restrict their intake of chocolate and check their favorite product’s label.
Content of Sugar:
A source of tooth decay may also be the high sugar content of most chocolate.
Chance of migraines:
Due to cocoa’s tyramine, histamine, and phenylalanine material, certain individuals may experience an increase in migraines while consuming chocolate regularly.
The health of bones:
Chocolate might cause poor osteoporosis and bone structure.
There may be elevated levels of cadmium and lead in certain cocoa powders, chocolate bars, and cacao nibs, which are toxic to kidneys, bones, and other body tissues.