Benefits of Chocolate
-Helps your heart to stay healthy
Lots of studies reveal that the flavonoids in chocolate can help your veins and arteries to stay supple. Studies on over 114,000 participants served with dark chocolate a week showed that their risk of getting a heart attack was reduced by about 37 percent while the chances of getting a stroke were 29 percent less when they had a higher consumption of chocolate.
-Helps to improve memory in old age
Research has shown that when elderly people were given specially prepared cocoa extracts which was high in flavanols, their cognitive function greatly improved. The only problem is that when it comes to eating chocolate, the percentage of those cocoa flavanols is much reduced due to the processing and the addition of eggs, sugar and milk.
– It can help to avoid sunburn
One study conducted in London found that women who were given chocolate with a high flavanol content were able to withstand double the amount of UV light on their skins without burning, compared to those on lower doses.
-It may help lower cholesterol levels
The Journal of Nutrition carries an interesting article about the results of a study done to determine whether dark chocolate could have any effect on the LDL cholesterol levels. They found that when subjects were given bars of dark chocolate with plant sterols and flavanols, they were getting lower scores on their cholesterol levels.
-It may help people with Alzheimer’s disease
As we know, the nerve pathways to the brain get damaged when Alzheimer’s disease strikes, causing severe loss in certain mental functions. It is fascinating to read about how one extract from cocoa, called lavado, can actually reduce the damage done to these vital pathways.
Did you know that with a high cocoa content (75 percent to 85 percent) you are getting a very nutritious snack? Take the typical 100 gram chocolate bar. It has almost all of your RDA for copper and manganese. It contains over half your magnesium RDA and about two thirds (67 percent) of your RDA for iron. It also has about 10 percent of fibre. There is also lots of zinc, selenium and potassium too.
– Helps to lower blood pressure
You may not know it but having the right amount of NO (Nitric Oxide) in your body can help your arteries to relax. That will, in turn help to take some of the pressure off them and the result is a lower BP count. Just another benefit of the dark chocolate flavanols which help to produce this vital Nitric Oxide.