5 Reasons to Eat More Chocolate

(As if you needed any)

Oct. 20, 2016
By Charlie Betley

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Chocolate is a uni­ver­sal feel-good food that can affect mood and pro­vide emo­tional com­fort. Chocolate also has sev­eral sur­pris­ing health ben­e­fits that make it even more appeal­ing. To gain the max­i­mum ben­e­fits from choco­late, you should choose a dark vari­ety with at least 70% cocoa solids. Here are 5 rea­sons to eat more choco­late.

Heart Protection

Chocolate con­tains pow­er­ful polyphe­nols and flavonoids that can help to pro­tect your car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem and pre­vent heart dis­ease. Flavonoids are antiox­i­dants that can also be found in some fruits, red wine and green tea and olive oil. Chocolate is one of the rich­est sources of flavonoids, with higher lev­els than almost any other food. Some stud­ies have shown that these flavonoids can also help to reduce blood pres­sure.

Stress Relief

Chocolate con­tains seda­tive prop­er­ties that act as a tran­quil­izer, help­ing to reduce stress and anx­i­ety lev­els. Eating choco­late can also cause the body to release endor­phins, lead­ing to an improved mood and an increased sense of well-being. In addi­tion, some stud­ies have shown that choco­late con­tains pain-reliev­ing prop­er­ties that help to reduce stress-related pain.

Improved Concentration

Chocolate con­tains a stim­u­lant called theo­bromine, which has a sim­i­lar effect to caf­feine. Theobromine can improve con­cen­tra­tion and over­all lev­els of alert­ness. Unlike caf­feine, theo­bromine does not pro­duce agi­ta­tion and other neg­a­tive side effects. Eating a lit­tle choco­late could tem­porar­ily boost your brain power and increase your abil­ity to focus on com­plex tasks.

Cough Suppressant

The theo­bromine found in choco­late is thought to help sup­press coughs. Some stud­ies have found that choco­late acts in a sim­i­lar way to codeine, which is often used as a key ingre­di­ent in cough med­i­cines. Codeine can have neg­a­tive side effects, such as drowsi­ness, which makes choco­late a much bet­ter alter­na­tive for cough sup­pres­sion.

PMS Relief

PMS (pre-men­strual syn­drome) is a dis­tress­ing prob­lem that affects women all around the world. The symp­toms of PMS vary from one woman to the next, but usu­ally include mood swings, bloat­ing and weight gain. Chocolate con­tains prop­er­ties that can help to relieve the symp­toms of PMS, par­tic­u­larly mood swings, anx­i­ety and depres­sion.

Chocolate is a deli­cious treat that comes with a range of health ben­e­fits. However, as with any high-fat food, eat­ing too much choco­late can lead to weight gain, so it is impor­tant to be sen­si­ble in the amount of choco­late you eat. In addi­tion, remem­ber to choose dark choco­late with at least 70% cocoa solids.

Readers might also keep in mind choco­late and extra vir­gin olive oil is a match made in heaven. Try a medium-fruity Picual like the NYIOOC Gold Award-win­ning Grumpy Goats Farm on choco­late ice cream, or use our food pair­ing app to find the best olive oil match for other choco­late desserts.

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