Remember your childhood days - when your mommy used to allow only one chocolate per week, at times month? In case, by any chance, you managed to sneak one more into your mouth, there was a long lecture on how your teeth will get spoiled and you will be left toothless much before you reach old age, not to mention the weight gain problem. In case you are planning to do the same with your child, first be aware of the fact that though its excessive consumption is bad, chocolate per se is not harmful for your health. Rather, it has been known to offer a number of health benefits, if consumed in moderation. Want to know more about the benefits of chocolate? Read on.
Health Benefits Of Chocolate
- Cacao, which is the source of the delicious temptation we know as chocolate, is known to contain antibacterial agents. This property of chocolate works best in dark chocolate, since the high sugar content of milk chocolate cancels out the effect.
- It is believed that the smell of chocolate, which most of us are simply in love with, can increase theta brain waves, thus providing total relaxation to its consumer.
- Chocolate contains phenyl ethylamine, which has been associated with mood elevation. This is the reason why we find depressed people swearing by this 'sin' food.
- Chocolate contain cocoa butter, which has been attributed with the presence of mono-unsaturated fat. The fat has been known to prove effective in raising good cholesterol.
- It has been observed that drinking a cup of hot chocolate before meals can diminish appetite. So, if consumed in moderation, it can even help people maintain/reduce weight.
- There have been many studies coming up with the result that the men who eat chocolate live a year longer than those who don't. However, there is still no concrete proof of this fact.
- Chocolate contain flavonoids, a class of plant secondary metabolites that are believed to help keep the blood vessels elastic.
- Consuming chocolate can help increase the level of antioxidants in the blood. Antioxidants are known to help body fight free radical and keep many chronic diseases, like cancer, heart disease and stroke, at bay.
- Chocolate has effectively been used to treat patients with anemia, kidney stones and poor appetite
- The carbohydrates present in chocolate have been known to increase the level of serotonin in the brain. Thus, in turn, helps create a sense of well-being in a person.
- Consuming chocolate, on a regular basis, but in moderation, can improve digestion and stimulate kidneys
- In Mexico, healers are known to make use of chocolate, for treating bronchitis as well as insect bites.
- Regular consumption of chocolates, though in moderation, can help lower blood pressure. So, high BP patients can stand to benefit from it.
- Researches have associated moderate chocolate consumption with lower death rate from heart disease. Again, there is no concrete proof of this fact.
- Chocolate consumption can improve function of the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels.