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5 Amazing Facts About Chocolate

chocolate

You’ll be happy to know that this sweet treat does have some health benefits that go beyond just making us feel good. And while we’re talking about the benefits of chocolate, let’s be clear that we’re not advocating munching on Snickers bars or downing chocolate shakes all day! What you want to aim for to get these amazing effects is a chocolate bar that is dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao content, and definitely don’t eat the whole bar all at once. Have something like the size of a silver dollar to get the benefits without derailing your fitness plan.

1. Heart healthy

We like things that are good for our heart and luckily, a piece of chocolate is one of them! According to studies by the American Chemical Society, some of the bacteria that live in our stomachs like to consume the chocolate we eat and then ferment it into anti-inflammatory compounds that are healthy for our hearts. Additionally, the flavanols found in chocolate can improve vascular health by lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow to the brain and heart.

2. Contains resveratrol

Say what? Well if you didn’t know this word before, you will be happy that you read it here and that you can get it with your sweet piece of chocolate! Resveratrol has antioxidant properties, which protects the body against the kind of damage linked to increased risk for conditions such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. This compound, which is also found in the skin of red grapes and peanuts, has also been shown to prevent insulin resistance, which is often a precursor to diabetes.

3. Helps regulate cholesterol

Eating small amounts of dark chocolate can boost HDL cholesterol, aka “good” cholesterol and decrease LDL cholesterol, aka “bad” cholesterol. The way this works inside your body is that the compounds in dark chocolate help reduce inflammation, which prevent the oxidation of this “bad” cholesterol, and make it more difficult for platelets to stick together and form the clots that can eventually lead to a heart attack and other health complications.

 

4. Skin smart

More good news: the flavanols that are found in chocolate function in the body as antioxidants. Studies show that the flavanols present in chocolate can help protect your skin from the sun. In one study those who were eating high flavanol chocolate took twice as long to develop skin reddening in the sun. That sounds like the best sunscreen to us! In another study, results showed that high flavanol cocoa can increase skin density and hydration and decrease skin roughness and scaling. And eating a piece of this skin smart sweet improves elasticity in the blood vessels, which leads to healthier looking skin. Wow!

5. “Because I’m Happy”

Just like that catchy song, chocolate will have you singing happy tunes and make you feel good! Why is that? Well the reason behind this is that aside from its yummy flavor, chocolate contains a chemical called anandamide that blocks feelings of pain and depression for a short period of time. Anandamide comes from the Sanskrit word ananda, meaning “bliss”, so it’s no wonder that we feel good after having a bit of this sweet treat! 

So the next time you have a sweet craving, indulge in a piece of dark chocolate for all of these benefits or try one of our recipes that feature dark chocolate like our tasty Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Cookies or the scrumptious Chocolate Pudding!

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About the author

Viance Nutrition

Hi! I'm Walt Landi the founder and CEO of Viance Nutrition. Welcome to our Blog. I maintain this Blog as a free resource for anyone wishing to improve their health. Your comments and feedback are always welcomed and you can email me direct at walt@viance.com if you have any suggestions. Thanks. Ps. Spread the word and check out our products at viance.com. :)

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