Health benefits of chocolate
It does more than just taste goodThe sweet indulgence of smooth, rich chocolate is very satisfying indeed! However, for someone who is watching nutrition and monitoring their health, chocolate may not be one of the included food list items. Chocolate doesn't have to be one of the items to avoid since there are many more chocolate indulgence options to enjoy without having to avoid it altogether. There are multiple health benefits of chocolate that can help the body in multiple ways, including weight control and lowering blood pressure. Besides just flat out tasting good, chocolate has many more benefits that you can feel good about as you consume your favorite pieces.
Chocolate is derived from a plant, specifically the cacao plant and contains many of the health benefits that you would enjoy from eating dark vegetables. The chocolate contains flavonoids which are antioxidants and helps the body to relax, thereby lowering the body's blood pressure. The flavonoids also assist the body in eliminating free radicals which cause the body to age. The health benefits of chocolate, in small quantities and specifically in dark chocolate, consumed on a daily basis also include several other positive benefits.
Dark chocolate is advocated by many nutritionists as having the properties to help lower cholesterol, as much as up to 1%. The LDL (or "bad") cholesterol is affected by the ingredients in dark chocolate, specifically oleic acid, and is very effective in keeping the LDL cholesterol numbers down if it is ingested consistently, either daily or two to three times per week in small quantities.
One of the many benefits of including chocolates as a part of any health routine includes a very pleasant side effect that few will dispute. Chocolate stimulates the "feel good" hormones called endorphins which aid in relaxation and peacefulness. These hormones gives the body feelings of pleasure and help also to calm a person's mental state.
Chocolate contains serotonin which acts as an anti-depressant, especially when it is consumed during periods of high-stress or activity. It also contains a stimulant called theobromine which is an ingredient similar to caffeine and helps the body's energy level. This health benefit alone is one major reason why many people eat chocolate bars on a regular basis and incorporate them into their diets. If done safely and within reason, anyone can enjoy the pleasant taste and extended benefits of chocolate consumption.