Chocolate is good for you and your health. That’s certainly good news!
It is ironic how something gets lodged in our brain — probably because we’ve been repeatedly told it since childhood — but in fact isn’t true. For instance, everyone has been warned against eating chocolate because it make you fat, rots your teeth and causes skin to break out when, in fact, there are numerous health benefits to eating cocoa. It is actually good for you.
Cocoa’s medicinal value has long been known. The Aztecs believed it gave their warriors potency. Not just anybody could get their hands on the coveted item in Aztec society. It was set aside for the wealthy, priests and soldiers. They believed it fought fatigue and increased resistance. On the other end of the spectrum, it was thought to induce restful and natural sleep.
In the 17th century a British doctor believed it was good for expectant women because it prevented fainting spells and nourished the embryo. Drinking chocolate was viewed as a panacea and restorative ideal for treating digestive issues and anemia.~
What We Know About Chocolate Today
- Naturally, if you regularly eat copious amounts of cocoa you are not going to lose weight and may gain — but when eaten in moderation dark chocolate provides benefits. It can lower body mass index (BMI), which is a measurement of height relative to weight.
- It is thought the person who indulges in the occasional piece chocolate thwarts overeating later because he is satiated. Studies point to the possibility of a piece of dark cocoa helping maintain hormones in correct balance, which assists in weight control.
- A Swedish study determined females eating in excess of 45 grams of chocolate each week had a 20 percent lower chance of experiencing a stroke than those eating less than 9 grams of cocoa weekly.
- Chocolate actually improves vision because it increases blood flow to the brain and to the retina in the eye.
- Do you want to be smarter and more efficient? Eat some cocoa. The increased blood flow to the brain results in alertness and wakefulness. People are therefore, more efficient when it comes to performing tasks.
- Cocoa works very much like aspirin. It thins blood and prevents blood clots from forming, which betters circulation and blood flow.
- It is good for the heart because it contains anti-inflammatory agents which lessen the chance of cardiovascular (heart) disease. Tissue inflammation in the circulatory system is one of the greatest influences leading to heart disease.
- Are you coughing so strenuously you fear you are going to cough up a lung? Take a bite of chocolate. It quells coughing because it contains theobromine, which quiets the activity of the vagus nerve, the portion of the brain causing coughing.
- Some avoid cocoa because they believe it makes their skin break out. However, it is thought dark chocolate actually benefits the skin because it contains flavonoids that offer protection from UV damage from the sun.
- Chocolate contains antioxidants that guard against oxidative stress, which alters cell metabolism and not in a good way. Eating 6.7 grams of cocoa a day is the ideal amount. A Hershey’s kiss is comparable to 4.5 grams whereas a Hershey’s dark chocolate bar equals 41 grams.
So, go ahead and eat some chocolate. It’s good for you. But you do not need to go hog wild. Eat it in moderation.