5 Things Every Chocolate Lover Needs to Know (Even We Didn’t Believe #4!)

5 Things Every Chocolate Lover Needs to Know (Even We Didn’t Believe #4!)

Well, it can, in a way, you just need to know what type of chocolate you should be eating and how much of it you can have.

Let’s face it, chocolate is perhaps the ultimate comfort food. When you are stressed out, eating chocolate somehow makes you feel better and when things are going well, it can make a good thing even better. Chocolate can even elicit feelings of romance (why else do men give women chocolate as a gift?)

OK, But is Chocolate Good for Your Health or Not?

Well, if you scarf down a half pound a day, no. However, this isn’t to say that chocolate isn’t without its benefits.

Then Is It OK to Eat Chocolate Every Day?

Yes, it is, as long as you eat the good kind and you eat it in moderation, there are 5 almost unbelievable health benefits to eating chocolate.

What Do You Mean, the “Good Kind” of Chocolate?

This means eating dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa. All the other types of chocolate bars are sad to hear this, but the added sugar, honey, and butter are NOT good for you.

What are the benefits of eating chocolate every day? We thought you would never ask!

Dark Chocolate Nutrition

While it sounds counterintuitive to every idea you have about chocolate, dark chocolate has a fairly impressive profile when it comes to nutrition.

An average 3.5 ounce (100 grams) of dark chocolate contains:

  • 11 grams of fiber
  • 98% of your recommended daily allowance of manganese
  • 89% of your RDI for copper
  • 67% of your RDI for iron
  • 58% of your RDI for magnesium
  • A fair percentage of zinc, selenium, and potassium as well

Thing #1-It’s Actually Good for Your Entire Cardiovascular System

We see you over there, shaking your head at this one. This is one of those strange but true facts; studies like this one say that dark chocolate can restore flexibility to the blood vessels and arteries. It was also found to prevent white blood cells from sticking to the blood vessel walls, both of these items are common causes of clogged arteries.

Talk about a sweet way to sweep out your circulatory system!

Thing #2-It Lowers Cholesterol & Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease

Dark chocolate has compounds that prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. In addition to the benefit listed above, less cholesterol means a lower risk of heart disease. One study found that dark chocolate reduced the risk of dying from heart disease by an incredible 50% over the course of this 15 year study.

Show your heart a little love and give it some dark chocolate this week!

Thing #3-Chocolate is Great for Expecting Mothers & Their Babies

If you are pregnant and you are craving sweets like chocolate, we have some welcome news! Eating dark chocolate is oh so good for you and your little one.

One study found that eating dark chocolate improved the blood flow to the arteries in the uterus. This improved blood flow helps the placenta develop and function normally, which can lead to good pregnancy outcomes.

It is important to note that pregnant women should only consume dark chocolate during the first two trimesters and NOT the third trimester. Speak to your obstetrician before making any changes to your diet.

Thing #4-It Can Prevent Diabetes

You would never associate chocolate or any type of sweets with diabetes prevention, but when it comes to dark chocolate, it’s a game changer!

Dark chocolate, when consumed in moderation of course, can delay or even prevent the development of diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity. In fact, this 2005 study also found that not only did dark chocolate help delay diabetes, but it lowered blood pressure as well.

So, the next time someone wants to get on your case for eating (dark) chocolate, you can simply explain that you are beating diabetes at its own game.

Thing #5-Chocolate is Great Brain Food

If you think noshing on chocolate makes you feel good, wait until you hear what it does for the brain.

Dark chocolate improves blood flow to the brain, which can increase its overall function. After just 5 days of consuming a small amount of dark chocolate daily, subjects in this study had significantly improved the amount of blood that reached the brain.

It might even help to improve the cognitive  function in the elderly, improving verbal skills while it helps improve their overall health, according to this study involving 90 elderly patients.

Important Note

Like most things in life, chocolate needs to consumed in moderation to be healthy. In this case, moderation means about 1 ounce per day. The average sized chocolate bar contains about 3.5 ounces, so be sure to split that beautiful bar of chocolate into thirds and enjoy one piece each day!

Also, be aware that a great deal of the chocolate for sale is not healthy and it is not high quality. Always check the label and be certain that that dark chocolate you are buying contains a 70% or higher cocoa content.

There are sometimes several different types of cocoa printed on the label, including cocoa nibs, cocoa butter or cocoa powder. All are perfectly healthy additions in a dark chocolate bar.

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