SunstarTV Bureau: If there’s something that can make you feel ecstatically happy instantly, then it’s got to be a chocolate. Scientific studies have shown that dark chocolate is packed with nutrients that can positively affect your health. It is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet. It is also believed that Dark chocolate can improve your health and lower the risk of heart disease.
These are some of the benefits you will get after eating chocolate weekly:
- It can help your heart stay healthy
Lots of studies reveal that the flavonoids in chocolate that can help your veins and arteries to stay supple. Over 7 studies followed 114,000 participants who were given a few servings of dark chocolate a week. The results showed that their risk of getting a heart attack was reduced by about 37% while the chances of getting a stroke were 29% less when they had a higher consumption of chocolate.
- It helps improve your memory as you get older
Research has shown that when elderly people were given specially prepared cocoa extract, which was high in flavanols, their cognitive function greatly improved. The only problem is that when it comes to eating chocolate, the percentage of those cocoa flavanols is much reduced due to the processing and the addition of eggs, sugar and milk.
- It can help avoid sunburns
Study conducted in London found that women who were given chocolate with high flavanol content were able to withstand double the amount of UV light on their skins without burning, compared to those on lower doses.
- It may help lower cholesterol levels
The Journal of Nutrition carries an interesting article about the results of a study done to determine whether dark chocolate could have any effect on the cholesterol levels. They found that when subjects were given bars of dark chocolate with plant sterols and flavanols, they were getting lower scores on their cholesterol levels.
- It may help people with Alzheimer’s disease
As we know, the nerve pathways to the brain get damaged when Alzheimer’s disease strikes, causing severe loss in certain mental functions. It has an extract from cocoa, called lavado, can actually reduce the damage done to these vital pathways.
6. It can help you with your workout
Another magical flavanol in chocolate is epicatechin. Mice were given this substance and they were much fitter and stronger than those mice on water only. Researchers say that to get the best results from your workout, you have to limit the amount to only about half of one square of chocolate a day. If you have too much, it could undo the beneficial effects.
7. It is very nutritious
If you choose chocolate with a high cocoa content (75% to 85%) you are getting a very nutritious snack. Take the typical 100 gram chocolate bar. It has almost all of your Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for copper and manganese. It contains over half your magnesium RDA and about two thirds (67%) of your RDA for iron. It also has about 10% of fiber. There is also lots of zinc, selenium and potassium too.
8. It can help to lower your blood pressure
You may not know it but having the right amount of NO (Nitric Oxide) in your body can help your arteries to relax. That will, help to take some of the pressure off them and the result is a lower BP count.