Chocolate: The Health Benefits You Didn’t Know
There is a cheesy and quaintly adorable line that goes, “I love you the way a fat boy loves his chocolate.” Yes, for most people, the idea of chocolate reminds you of healthy-looking boys (and girls, too) who always have a chocolate bar in their bags or pockets. Young boys and girls aren’t the only ones who adore the taste and smell of these beautiful browns. In fact, it is a known idea that the cure to heartache, sadness, or anything related to the blues is chocolate. Whether it’s in the form of a bar, a malt shake, cookies, or chocolate-flavored meals, chocolate is the kind of food that cures the heart. It’s also the kind of food that you can’t eat just once – one bite is a delight, but having more servings is just more satisfying. Although it does bring a lot of positivity and joy to everyone, it might not do your body good if consumed too much. The idea here now is all about moderation. Yes, agreed, chocolate and moderation don’t really go together. But, for the sake of your health and life, it should. Still not in the mood to cut down on chocolate? Well, think of it this way: chocolate actually has tons of benefits for your body but taking too much also will give you the opposite. Again, moderation is essential. Now that that idea has been cleared, take a look at chocolate’s health benefits.
Because chocolate is made from plants, studies show that chocolate has the health benefits of dark vegetables. These are taken from flavonids whose functional role is anti-oxidation for the prevention of heart diseases, getting normal blood pressure, and having hormonal balance. Chocolate also increases the brain’s level of serotonin, something that most women lack when experiencing PMS and undergoing their menstruation cycle. Even those with depression have lower levels of serotonin thus making chocolate a favorite “anti-depressant” and mood brightener. Another thing about chocolate is that its polyphenols can inhibit the blood palets from sticking together thus prevening atheroscelrosis, a disease that happens when arteries thicken due to too much fat and cholesterol consumption. Based on studies by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, taking half an ounce of chocolate (preferably dark chocolate) is enough for the day. Dark chocolate is always a healthier choice because it contains less sugar and more antioxidants. Why then has chocolate received a bad image when studies show that chocolate’s natural fats are healthy? Yes, chocolate does have “good fats” but it also has add-on fats. These additional fats are the ones that can be bad for your health. Butterfat, for example, in milk chocolate can increase blood cholesterol levels. Which is why most choose dark chocolate as a healthier choice because it contains less sugar and more antioxidants.
Perhaps it’s just really its amazingly great taste that people have been driven to get obsessed with chocolate. Because of this, its consumption has been so high that people end up seeing it as “unhealthy”. Either way, it’s safe to say that chocolate does have health benefits but too much, just like in anything, isn’t healthy anymore.