So, the next time you eat a piece of your favourite chocolate, you may not have to feel guilty about it. Regardless, what people think about chocolate is that too much consumption may lead to weight gain, but there are several health benefits associated with this delicious treat.
From the best mood-booster to keeping the heart healthy to lower the risk of cancer, a growing number of studies suggest that chocolate can be a heart-healthy choice.
Why is chocolate good for health?
Truly said, healthy chocolate sounds like a dream come true.
According to Mayoclinic research, that chocolate and its main component, cocoa, appear to reduce risk factors for heart disease. Flavanols in cocoa beans have an antioxidant effect that reduces cell damage implicated in heart disease. Cocoa itself is low in sugar and fat offers potential health benefits. If you wish to enjoy the chocolate flavor, add plain cocoa to your milk or morning oats.
Flavanols — more prevalent in dark chocolate than in milk chocolate — may also help lower blood pressure and improve vascular function.
What studies say about the health benefit of chocolate?
There are mixed studies related to the health benefit of chocolate. Some researchers say that the consumption of chocolate in an accurate manner may lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, heart attack, and stroke. While other researchers oppose such statements – for, years researchers are debating on the health benefits of chocolate. Still today more research is needed to confirm these results.
In this article, we will be talking about how beneficial eating chocolate can be. Along with that, we will also look at some of the disadvantages of overeating as well.
Benefits of Eating Chocolate
Below are some of the significant benefits of eating chocolate:
1. Lowers the risk of harmful diseases
Eating chocolate with higher flavonoids can help in relaxing blood vessels, which will lower blood pressure and increase cholesterol that is good for health. Research suggests that eating a few healthy bars of chocolate can decrease the risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, heart attack.
2. Decrease inflammation present in the body
Inflammation is the most significant cause of sore tendons & muscles, headaches, and other such diseases. Eating chocolate can benefit you by reducing the inflammation present in the body. This also helps in keeping you healthy by slowing the effect of such problems. Cocoa polyphenols can regulate the bacteria present in the intestine. It can increase good gut bacteria that release anti-inflammatory properties. Eating dark will provide you with all such anti-inflammatory qualities.
3. Enhance Brain Activity
Chocolate not only makes you happy but is also good for your brain. It controls and releases serotonin that is a feel-good hormone, and dopamine also affects mood. Consuming cocoa can make you more attentive, process information faster, and even increase your memory. It also helps in keeping brain cognition in good shape. Chocolate has so many benefits that scientists are researching its effect on diseases like Alzheimer’s.
4. Decrease the Risk of Diabetes
Although you might not believe this, considering that sweet food is the most significant cause behind increased blood sugar. But, dark chocolate is rich in cocoa, improves the body’s metabolism, and controls glucose excretion. It can also reduce the oxidative stress that is another cause of resistance in insulin levels. Eating the right amount of flavonoids can improve our body’s adaptability towards insulin, reducing such resistance and decreasing the risk of diseases like diabetes.
Once, research even suggested that people who do not consume chocolate are at a higher risk of having diabetic issues when compared to a person who does consume dark chocolate once or twice a week.
How much chocolate Should a Person Eat in a Day?
First of all, we should understand that there are different types of chocolate present in the market. Eating chocolate that is not rich in cocoa or has below 70% of this element is not suitable for health.
The ideal amount of chocolate that you should consume in a day should be 1 to 2 ounces or 30-60g in weight. In case you are consuming anything more than that, it will add up to the number of calories you’re consuming and is not suitable for your health.
It’s good to have dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa. It may give your heart some benefit, and it generally has less sugar and saturated fat than milk chocolate or other kinds of chocolate.
What are the Cons of Overeating Chocolate?
Excess consumption of anything good can have adverse effects on our health, and the same rule applies to chocolate. However, chocolate is good for health.
For people sensitive to caffeine, chocolate can be a nightmare, and consuming more than the given quantity can prove harmful. Below are some of the possible outcomes of eating too much chocolate:
1. Anxiety and change in heartbeats
Caffeine can increase the energy your body produces, but the excess generation of such power can have adverse effects that might lead to anxiety. It is also possible that you might feel side effects like an increased heartbeat, sweating, dizziness, etc.
2. Not good for stomach
Caffeine also has an acidic property, and too much consumption can cause gastrointestinal problems. It can also lead to inflamed ulcers in the stomach, heartburn, acid reflux, etc.
3. Increase Weight
A typical dark chocolate bar weighing 30g has a count of around 155 calories. Consuming more than 2 bars at a time can cause excess calorie intake and lead to weight gain. Increase weight can further lead to problems like blood pressure and diabetes.
4. Causes Acne
Chocolate is made with different compounds like milk, cocoa, sugar, caffeine, etc. Consuming too much chocolate will lead to an excess intake of all such elements, leading to acne formation. It can be due to any of the compounds present in chocolate.
Eating chocolate in a defined quantity has many health benefits, which were discussed above. Similarly, we also explained some known effects of overeating chocolate and why it is not suitable for your health. With that, we can conclude that consuming chocolate is good for health only if it’s done in moderation.