For as long as we can remember, people told us again and again that eating chocolate is not healthy. Also, we should only reserve it for special occasions and nothing else. Halloween and Valentine’s Day are such annual events involving the consumption of chocolate. That idea has been challenged following the release of several studies pointing to the health benefits of chocolate. Particularly dark chocolate as you will see further, having a few health benefits. Such studies have certainly divided many experts. Besides, there are a few facets to these theories that both sides accept.
What are the health benefits of eating chocolate?
Chocolate and healthy candy help 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 few health benefits of eating chocolate and healthy candy that will surprise you.
Improves Heart Health
There is growing evidence within the health and nutrition world that chocolate improves heart health. Moreover, at least in certain portions of it, can promote cardiovascular health. The study focuses on dark chocolate and that for the people who consume it regularly. Dark chocolate decreases the chance of a heart attack by 39%. Similarly, those that eat one bar of dark chocolate a week have a 46% less chance of stroke.
All this research goes against the commonly held belief that sweet food item such as chocolate has any benefits. As young kids, our parents told us that too much stuff 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 to all this research.
Contributes to Longer Life
If we think of older people, we imagine a benevolent figure, caring in nature, and imbued with life’s wisdom. This is exemplified in how society views grandparents. They are wise and gentle figures in people’s lives, kind to a fault, and have the best candies.
Those candies might be key to their long life. Recent studies show that moderate consumption of sweet foods like candies 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.
Helps Decrease Stress
We’ve been at some point in our life where a stressful situation makes us crave something sweet. The idea is a tomb in modern pop culture. Rom Coms of the last couple of decades continues to use the trope of mulling in bed eating candies. Also, ice cream is a way to soothe one’s heartache after a break-up.
Cliche as it may seem, this trope has clinical backings. A study showed that eating chocolate, especially 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 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.
Improves Our Focus
We’ve discussed how older people who regularly get help with chocolate daily 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 an in-between meal. It applies to Brunch, mid-afternoon tea, midnight snack, and all their other nomenclature and variations. It is humans’ evolutionary way of maintaining a constant source of energy throughout the day.
However, modern times dictate that we don’t follow these post/pre-meals food practices and stick to the more conventional three-meals-a-day practice. Chocolate is a wonderful source of energy to get people through the rest of their day. Also, it’s a convenient alternative to sitting down and preparing and eating snacks.
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 someone developing hypertension. The kind of food we eat and the level of physical activity we get in a week. Also, how much stress we are in, and other factors all contribute to this problem.
The medical community has varying recommendations in 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, 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 chocolate bar is enough to melt away some of the stresses.
There is a lot of research showing the health benefits of eating chocolate. It has also great benefits to the heart and mental health. That does not mean you should eat a lot of chocolate. 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 healthy candy to be an important component in our diet. It will take a good portion of experts in the various fields to reach a consensus.
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.