Health Benefits of Chocolate

Enjoy the positive health effects of chocolate but be careful not to overindulge! Chocolate is still high in calories, fat, and sugar, which could sabotage any diet plan if you go overboard.

Chocolate is loaded with powerful antioxidants known as flavonoids. It also contains specific magnesium. These nutrients help reduce your blood pressure and decrease your risk of developing heart attack and disease.

The dark chocolate that you consume is by far the healthiest kind of chocolate. Compared to milk chocolate, it is a good source of more than double the quantity of heart-healthy flavonoids. There’s a further disadvantage against it: the added milk it has can decrease the body’s capacity to absorb beneficial flavonoids. Select dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao or cocoa to relish chocolate flavor and reap all the advantages of flavonoids.

The health benefits of dark chocolate don’t grant you the right to indulge. It’s still important to be aware of the amount you consume. Even dark chocolate is loaded with calories, fat, and sugar, which could cause weight gain when you overdo it. Be cautious when incorporating this sweet treat into your daily diet. The most delicious dark chocolate varieties have only one type of fat, cocoa butter, and do not include coconut, palm, or milk fat. Technically speaking, these are all saturated fats; however, the cocoa butter type has a neutral impact on cholesterol levels, which means it doesn’t increase blood cholesterol as other saturated fats can.

You can stick to one-ounce portion sizes and make sure to add 150 calories to your daily allowance. You can also drink an iced cup of low-fat hot chocolate (typically lower than 100 calories for a cup) and a glass of soymilk containing one tablespoon of chocolate powder or syrup. These drinks are a good calcium source and may help strengthen bones. Unsweetened cocoa powder can also be used to flavor recipes for desserts with fewer calories. I often use it as a flavoring ingredient in my recipes, such as chocolate-hazelnut biscotti, Chocolate Angel Food Cake, and warm dark Chocolate Sauce made with Fresh Fruit. Unsweetened cocoa powder is a gluten-free product which means that if you have celiac disease, it’s safe to consume.

Many women who suffer from PMS want chocolate just before they have their period and often say that eating chocolate boosts their mood and makes women feel better immediately. It could be because of the serotonin released when you consume chocolate. Experts suggest that eating foods rich in nutrients such as those with vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and manganese can better relieve PMS symptoms.

Besides the potential to increase weight, it also has other adverse side effects. It can be a potent migraine trigger since it has caffeine and amino acids phenylethylamine and tyramine. Chocolate can cause IBS symptoms in specific individuals. If you feel uncomfortable following a chocolate treat, consider reducing your consumption or eliminating the chocolate.

The most reliable sources of chocolate to add to your diet are dark chocolate, which contains 70% cacao, unsweetened cocoa powder, and chocolate drinks made from skim, 1 percent, and soymilk.

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