You may have heard a lot of people say that chocolate has a lot of health benefits, and others saying that it doesn't. Well, it does, especially dark chocolate. Like most fruits and other organic foods, chocolate is also made from plants, which make it rich in nutrients that contribute to your health. But before you start buying the chocolate you see in the supermarket, here are some of those health benefits that you can get from dark chocolate.
- Lowers blood pressure - Studies have proven that having dark chocolate in your diet can lower your blood pressure. Granted that it is only of a certain amount per day. Along with these studies came the problem of modifying behavior for the long term goals. Along with eating dark chocolate, you must be able to integrate it into your lifestyle, and balance the calorie intake as per the advice of your doctor or your health expert.
- Lowers cholesterol - It has been shown that dark chocolate can reduce bad cholesterol to some extent, but all the same, you should do your part in increasing your good cholesterol as well by eating healthy foods.
- Brain stimulation - As you may have heard a lot of times, there are claims that people feel happy after eating chocolate. Dark chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins, serotonin and other nerves and chemicals in the brain giving a feeling of euphoria. There are also other studies that say that a bit of chocolate actually improves the processing of information while studying or learning something. In another perspective, the mind is more receptive to information if the person is in a positive mood. So when stressed with studying, take a breather and try to have a bit of dark chocolate.
- It tastes good - There are medicines that other people take to lower their blood pressure or to reduce cholesterol in their system. And more often than not, medicines don't taste good. In contrast, dark chocolate may be somewhat bitter depending on how it was made, but overall, it tastes much better than any medicine you can ever find. Other than this, you can enjoy chocolate in many forms, like toffee, truffles and candies. Some studies say that the health benefits of dark chocolate lessens when you mix it with milk so in that sense, dark chocolate is the better health option than the other types like milk chocolate or white chocolate.
Consult your dietitian first on how you can include dark chocolate in your daily diet first before trying this so you know what is the right amount without risking or lowering the health benefits. You can also get the same health benefits of chocolate in some gourmet cooking, in drinks or snacks. Check recipe books for recipes that have cocoa in their ingredients. You can also use these in baking, like making chocolate drops out of cocoa powder. Aside from staying healthy with a bit of dark chocolate in your diet, you can also be creative to make it a more interesting and productive experience. Stay healthy!