4 reasons why dark chocolate is great for you
Thursday, April 13th, 2017 | Blog
Chocolate is one of the great guilty food pleasures that many of us rely on when we need a little pick-me-up to get through the day. While an over abundance of chocolate can obviously have negative health benefits, there are positive benefits to be found in moderate chocolate consumption.
Considering it’s Easter weekend, we thought we’d make everyone feel a bit better about their consumption of Easter eggs by listing some of the health benefits associated with dark chocolate
It’s good for your heart
Dark chocolate benefits the heart by improving the circulation of blood around the body. One of the main ingredients of cocoa, flavonoid, is present in all chocolates, but they are often far more prevalent in dark varieties. It is theorized that epicatechin, a flavanol that’s abundant in cocoa, triggers artery growth and flexibility. Therefore reducing the risk of heart attacks or blood clots.
It’s good for your skin
Chocolate is great for your skin. The antioxidants found in most chocolates will fight free radical build up, which is an atom that causes cells and the body to age. Antioxidants fight against the damage free radicals cause to the body, reducing the chances of wrinkles and other skin issues.
Dark chocolate can also help reduce the chances of UV damage from the sun. The antioxidants present help increase blood flow in the skin, meaning there is more blood flowing towards the top layers. This oxygenates the skin, leaving it more able to deal with sun damage.
It can prevent diabetes
It might sound a bit unusual, but dark chocolate can actually have a positive effect on those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. A study found that those who had eaten dark chocolate had a lower resistance to insulin and improved liver enzyme levels. A lower resistance to insulin is great because it means the body doesn’t have to work harder in order to produce more insulin. As previously mentioned, the positive effects from chocolate are often featured as part of a balanced diet, rather than overindulgence.
It makes you feel good
This may seem like an obvious one, but there’s more to chocolate than meets the eye. There are several ingredients in chocolate that elicit specific chemical reactions in the brain. Those reactions leave us feeling happy, euphoric and even loved!
One such chemical is tryptophan, an amino acid. Tryptophan makes the brain produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can produce feelings of happiness. It’s no surprise that so many of us enjoy a bar of chocolate after a long day!.
It also contains phenylethylamine, a chemical that is closely associated with falling in love. When processed by the brain it can produce feelings of euphoria and excitement, which is a bonus because it skips any potential heartbreak!
Chocolate isn’t just a great tasting treat, but it also has underlying positive health benefits. This obviously only counts if chocolate is eaten in moderation, and as part of a healthy diet. We’ll let you off this weekend though, considering it’s Easter.