For as long as we can remember, people told us that eating cocoa chocolate is not healthy. Also, we should only save it for special occasions. That idea has been challenged recently. Several studies show the health benefits of cocoa chocolate. Particularly cocoa dark chocolate benefits. Such studies have certainly divided many experts. However, there are facets that both sides accept.
What is cocoa?
The cocoa bean or also called the cacao bean is the dried and fully fermented seed of Theobroma cacao. From which we extract cocoa solids and cocoa butter. There are lots of cocoa health benefits. Here are the top 5 cocoa health benefits.
What are the health benefits of eating cocoa chocolate?
Cocoa chocolate helps us improve our mood and are very effective against mental disorders such as bipolar disorder. There are other health benefits such as heart health, lower blood pressure, and longer life span. So, here are the top 5 cocoa dark chocolate benefits that will surprise you.
1. Improves heart health
There is growing evidence within the health and nutrition world that cocoa chocolate improves heart health. Moreover, at least in certain portions of it, can promote cardiovascular health. The study focuses on dark cocoa chocolate. Dark cocoa chocolate decreases the chance of a heart attack by 39%. Similarly, those that eat one bar of cocoa dark chocolate a week have a 46% less chance of stroke.
All this research goes against the commonly held belief that cocoa chocolate has any benefits. As young kids, our parents told us that too much chocolate can ruin our teeth. Also, it’ll contribute to obesity, and put us at risk down a path towards an unhealthy lifestyle. That seems not to be the case any more than in all this research.
2. Contributes to longer life
If we think of older people, we imagine wise and gentle figures and have the best chocolate.
That chocolate might be key to their long life. Recent studies show that moderate consumption of sweet foods like cocoa and dark chocolate has the potential to extend one’s life. Enough sugar within the body provides the needed boost of energy to do daily tasks and improve focus.
3. Helps decrease stress
A study showed that eating cocoa chocolate, especially cocoa dark chocolate, can lower the level of stress hormones in the bloodstream. This is especially helpful for people in a, particularly stressful situation. Researchers concluded that eating the average-sized cocoa dark chocolate bar every day for two weeks has great health benefits. It can reduce the levels of cortisol (stress hormone) and catecholamines (adrenalin) in people with high stress.
4. Improves our focus
We’ve discussed how older people who regularly eat chocolate have better focus. This is true for everyone and not just old people. There’s a reason why human cultures from around the world have some variations of chocolate gifting. It is humans’ evolutionary way of spreading happiness.
Cocoa chocolate is a wonderful source of energy to get people through the rest of their day. Also, it’s a convenient alternative to snacks.
5. Lowers blood pressure
A lot of people all over the world suffer from high blood pressure. There are a ton of factors that relate to this. The most commonly accepted idea is that lifestyle plays a huge part in it. The kind of food we eat and the level of physical activity we get in a week. Also, how much stress we are under, and other factors all contribute to this problem.
The medical community has varying recommendations for avoiding developing this cardiovascular problem. Some recommended daily physical exercise, others focus on following a healthy diet. Some also suggested reducing the level of stress they feel. In those of these, cocoa chocolate can play a huge part. The body naturally needs and wants sugar as it is one of the most simple ways of getting energy. Besides, the pleasure we get after eating a cocoa chocolate bar is enough to melt away some of the stresses.
There is a lot of research showing the health benefits of eating cocoa chocolate. It has also great benefits to the heart and mental health. That does not mean you should eat a lot of cocoa chocolate. Cocoa chocolate has a lot of calories. So, do not overeat.
Most of the cited papers and articles are pioneering in their rights. To get the general public’s approval and accept chocolate to be an important part of our diet. It will take a good portion of experts in the various fields to reach a conclusion.
Eliza Brooks is an avid blogger and an informative content writer who loves to write about travel, health, food, culture, and more. She is currently working with Jakers, the leading candlelight restaurant in Idaho.