Chocolate is the ultimate comfort food, a sure-fire stand-by in times of stress, a reliable source of consolation when life has let us down, and a mood-enhancer and romance-inducer in more positive circumstances. But is it at all healthy?
The answer is yes,
so there you go with the benefits of your favourite –
1. Improves Brain Power –
Cocoa boosts blood flow to the brain for up to 3 hours after ingestion, potentially increasing alertness and brain function. Research out of Oxford University on people over 70 years old found that those who ate flavonol-rich foods, including chocolate, scored significantly higher on cognitive tests.
2. Diarrhoea Relief – Traditional use of cocoa to prevent and treat diarrhoea date back to the 16th century.Now science confirms that tradition, It turns out that cocoa flavonoids bind to a protein that controls fluid secretion in the small intestine.Isn’t that awesome getting cured for something you hate with your favourite food.
3. It’s a Mood Improver –
Eating chocolate can improve your mood and, according to this study, it can give you a mood boost even in stressful circumstances. Participants in this study that had a cocoa flavanol drink before a sustained attention test had overall better cognitive performance and reported less “mental fatigue” than the control group.
4. Maintenance of a healthy cardiovascular system-
Regular chocolate consumption is also associated with improved markers for cardiovascular health. Notably, the poly-phenols in cacao increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and decreased oxidised LDL cholesterol
One study even found the particular cacao flavanol epicatechin to be responsible for the rise in nitric oxide which is essential for vascular health. Bio-availability of nitric oxide is an essential determine of vascular health as it regulates dilation tone, signals cell growth and inflammatory response, and protects blood vessels from clotting.
Also important, vascular function modulates insulin-regulated glucose uptake. So it’s no surprise that dark chocolate consumption also improves healthy levels of insulin sensitivity.
5. Chocolate makes you eat less –
One of my favourite effects of chocolate consumption is reduced appetite. One study showed that eating dark chocolate two hours before a meal led to a 17 percent lower calorie intake at the following meal, compared to the milk chocolate group. (I’d imagine that it’s because the casein in milk binds to the poly-phenols in chocolate, making them unavailable to your body.)
6. Cellular rejuvenation (anti-ageing) –
cacao can enhance the creation of new mitochondria! Chocolate contains the flavanol epicatechin, which is responsible for mitogensis . In one study , epicatechin given to senile mice shifted numerous bio markers towards those of young mice. In another mouse s, treatment with epicatechin improved exercise performance by about 50 percent and enhanced muscle fatigue resistance by about 30 percent.
someone rightly said,
“CHOCOLATE is cheaper than any therapy and you don’t need an appointment.”