There are many kinds of chocolate and we assure you: it isn’t just about the taste! Sure, there’s a lot of sugar on the table when you open one for a quick snack. But did you know that there are actually a couple of health benefits you can get from eating them?
Chocolate is a very popular food choice. Kids love them. People buy them as traditional gifts for days like Valentines’ and Christmas. Athletes depend on them to keep themselves energized. Like other candies and sweets, chocolate is heavily advertised on TV, so just about anyone knows of them.
With it being popular, there has been a lot of talk about its health from health advocates to licensed dieticians — and we’re seeing there are a lot of pros to consider compared to the cons which can be easily avoided.
The energy boost is already one thing, but chocolate is found to be also a stress reliever, a heart balancer, and a popular choice energy snack for athletes!
Curious? Let’s run through what chocolate has in store for us, shall we?
Chocolate Helps You Think Better
Believe it or not, it does. Chocolate has a compound flavonoid that has been proven to help blood circulation in the brain — and you guessed it when we mentioned “think” we also mean your reflexes and memory. This sweet can improve your reaction time and problem-solving skills, making it an ideal snack at an office or your workstation. In fact, there was a discussion on how it can be a key ingredient in making you more successful in your career.
If you’re feeling a bit down on energy when working on a lot of thought-intensive or creative tasks, then grabbing a chocolate bar or some ice cream can get you back on track. Food in general does give you energy, but chocolate is special in its way thanks to its compound.
It Increases Your Athletic Performance
Now, not only does chocolate make you think better, but it also helps you perform better in doing physical tasks. For athletes, some endorsing sweet treats themselves, taking chocolates isn’t just for show.
Epicatechin, a flavonol present in cocoa beans where chocolate comes from, helps widen your blood vessels. This is called “vasodilation.” That means blood circulation in your body will flow much smoother when doing physical tasks thanks to the relaxation of your muscles’ arterial wall. You’ll want to keep that blood pumping to put in more energy as athletes do.
Chocolate is a Great Stress Reliever
Valeric acid comes from chocolates and contributes one of the most important things to our everyday life: stress relief. Ever feel fatigued or in need to blow off steam? Take some chocolates. You don’t need that stress in life, embrace sweets.
Because it takes the stress away from you, it also helps your brain get back on its feet. This supports what we have mentioned above in our first section about chocolate helping us think better. It does and by doing so, it keeps you relaxed. Nothing like a natural tranquilizer that you can just pull out of your bag and bite, right?
There are still some studies to be made on chocolate being beneficial to those with brain diseases. But there’s potential. What we’re sure of is that it helps you keep calm.
It’s Filled With Nutrients and Antioxidants
Chocolate, especially Dark Chocolate, is rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Let’s list some major ones here:
- It has iron which our blood needs (specifically, the protein hemoglobin in red blood cells that carries oxygen from our lungs to the rest of our body). This is important so that we avoid iron-deficiency anemia, where lightheadedness and fatigue are symptoms.
- Zinc is a nutrient needed for various processes in our body like protein synthesis, immune functions that protect us from diseases, wound healing, and metabolism.
- It has magnesium which is also an important mineral needed to keep different parts of our body working smoothly from our heart to our nervous system.
- Flavonols, as we mentioned earlier, have antioxidant properties. This connects with how chocolate can serve as stress relief and also increase blood circulation.
As you can see, there are a lot of things packaged inside chocolate just for us. In times of need, chocolate could be that one thing that can boost you to your goal in problem-solving.
It’s Healthy Taken in Moderation
Overall, chocolate is actually a healthy choice. But we won’t deny that taking too much of it is a no-no, of course. There are reasons why we should take chocolate moderately in a similar manner to why we shouldn’t drink coffee too much. Chocolate can create an imbalance in blood sugar and add fast to unintentional weight gain.
You can increase your cholesterol too much from eating chocolates so make sure to take note of that, too.
Thanks for reading! Interested in looking for some sweets to snack on? You can try out some sugar-free dark chocolate with almonds or organic white chocolate with pistachio. For a special occasion, you might want to consider looking into some chocolate truffle trays. There’s even a recipe for that, too, if you want to make some at home.