Chocolates are derived from plants, thus it is loaded with plenty of health benefits found in dark veggies. Chocolates are rich in flavonoids which are antioxidants. These antioxidants shield our body against free radicals that cause premature ageing. These free radicals also cause cell damage that may result in heart problems. Dark chocolates have eight times more antioxidants than those found in strawberries.
Flavonoids also help in controlling BP through the production of nitric oxide. The nitric oxide also helps in maintaining hormonal balance in our body.
How dark chocolate makes the heart healthy:
Dark chocolates are extremely healthy for the heart. A small piece of it each day will make your heart healthy by enhancing the workings of cardiovascular system. There are two main benefits of dark chocolates that directly impact the health of the heart.
Lowers blood pressure:
Many researches are being conducted to understand the benefits of dark chocolates. These studies have concluded that eating a bar of dark chocolate on daily basis can really help in stabilizing the blood pressure. It is highly advisable for those with high blood pressure to eat a small piece of dark chocolate everyday.
Lowers bad cholesterol level:
Studies have proved that dark chocolates can bring down the level of bad cholesterol or LDL by atleast ten percent in an average person.
Other significant benefits of dark chocolates:
- Dark chocolates taste heavenly!
- Dark chocolates stimulate the production of a chemical called endorphin, which imparts the feeling of pure pleasure.
- Dark chocolates contain serotonin which is like an antidepressant drug with no side effects.
- Dark chocolates contain theobromine and caffeine, which act as stimulants.
What about the fat in dark chocolates?
More good news about dark chocolates… some fats in dark chocolate do not have any negative impact on your cholesterol level. The fat in dark chocolates can be equally divided into three kinds of fatty acids:
Oleic acid: it is a healthy unsaturated fat that is also present in olive oil.
Steric acid: It is a waxy saturated fatty acid, which occurs widely as a glyceride in animal and vegetable fats. Research has shown that it has a neutralising effect on cholesterol.
Palmitic acid: It is a saturated fatty acid that is the major fat in meat and dairy products. And this is the kind of fat which is bad for the health of the heart.
Hence, it is only 1/3 of the fatty acids in dark chocolate, which may be bad for your health.
Chocolate Eating Tips:
1. Mind the calories: Chocolate is a high calorie food. Just because it is good for health does not mean it is good for your weight. Eating a small piece of chocolate every day will be quite sufficient. The calories from chocolate must not exceed 200-250 calorie.
2. Choose your chocolate well: If you are eating chocolate for the health benefits then you must only eat dark chocolates. Dark chocolates have an extremely high cocoa content which is quite low in milk based chocolates. Also do not go for chocolates with any nuts or flavourings. Just keep it plain dark chocolates.