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Chocolate consumption has always been linked to weight gain and obesity. So much so that the phrase guilt eating and chocolate go hand in hand. But, it is not always true. The key here is to know which kind of chocolate you are consuming.
Dark chocolate contains significantly lesser amounts of sugar compared to milk chocolate or white chocolate. It is also rich in nutrients such as zinc, iron and magnesium. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are a type of antioxidants that help in neutralizing the harmful free radicals in our body. The richer the cocoa content of the chocolate, the more nutritious it is. Therefore, do not forget to check the labels the next time you go chocolate shopping.
Consuming dark chocolates has a number of health benefits. Let us explore some of the health benefits of consuming chocolates.
1. Keeps inflammation at check
Inflammation is a common problem among adults that gives rise to a number of illnesses ranging from headaches to sore joints and muscles. It is also known to cause flu-like symptoms in some people. The polyphenols in cocoa help increase the good gut bacteria, which in turn may result in anti inflammatory effects. Dark chocolate undoubtedly tops the list of anti-inflammatory food items.
2. Mood boosting properties
We have often seen advertisements where upset individuals are given chocolates to lift up their mood. What is the link between chocolates and mood? Consuming chocolates signals the brain to release feel good hormones such as dopamine and serotonin which are known for improving mood in individuals. This is why people report being considerably happier after consuming chocolates. And needless to say, desserts of any kind are a hit among people.
3. May help manage weight
Consuming dark chocolate may help manage and regulate normal body weight as it contains more nutrients compared to sugar. An evening snack of dark chocolate is not only filling but also satisfying for the mind. It helps curb further sugar cravings and provides the body with essential nutrients. But it is important to keep in check the amount of dark chocolate one is consuming. Too much of anything is not good for the body and may negatively impact the intention of losing weight.
4. May reduce menstrual cramps
Dark chocolate consumption is known to release the feel good hormone Dopamine. This in turn improves the mood in an individual and relaxes the body. This may help in reducing menstrual cramps. Dark chocolate is also known for containing properties that help alleviate Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). Therefore, do not cut down on that chocolate craving during your period.
5. May reduce the chances of heart diseases
The antioxidant, flavonoid in dark chocolate may help reduce the chances of a number of heart complications including high blood pressure. Consuming dark chocolates is also linked to reduced chances of stroke and type two diabetes.
6. Improves brain function
Dark chocolate promotes neural activities in the brain which results in better cognitive abilities of the brain. Dark chocolate is also known for preventing memory loss. Consuming dark chocolate reduces stress, and impacts the overall brain functions immensely.
Consuming chocolates, especially the dark variant, is linked to a number of health benefits. It may help in reducing the chances of coronary complications, menstrual cramps and also significantly improves Premenstrual Syndrome symptoms. Regular limited consumption of dark chocolate is known to reduce stress and improve brain functions.