Various study show that a daily chocolate intake will decrease the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Increasing number of studies are suggesting that regular, moderate chocolate consumption may yield significant health benefits, particularly when it comes to dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has the highest cocoa content, which means it has the highest levels of antioxidants, specifically, Flavonoids. Flavonoids are molecules that can prevent some forms of cell damage.
Studies about Chocolate Health Benefits
- A study looked at the eating and lifestyle habits of more than 1,100 adults ages 18 to 69 over the course of two years and determined that consuming chocolate every day correlated with lower insulin resistance and liver enzymes, which are indicators of heart disease risk.
- Researchers also observed that participants who did eat chocolate regularly tended to be younger, more physically active and more highly educated than those who did not eat chocolate
- Another study concluded that regularly chowing down on the dark stuff leads to better cognitive brain function, including stronger working memory, spatial organization, and reasoning skills.
- Researchers also suggest that frequent chocolate consumption is associated with a nearly 40% reduced risk for heart disease and a 30% reduced risk for a stroke. Chocolate can provide significant amounts of arginine, an amino acid that’s required in the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps regulate blood flow, inflammation and blood pressure.
Daily Chocolate Consumption for Maximum Health Benefits
Since dark chocolate is higher in flavonoids, it offers the greatest health benefits. Most experts agree that the recommended “dose” of dark chocolate is approximately 30g to 60g/day (roughly 1 to 2 ounces). Choose less processed dark chocolate with lower amounts of added sugar and a higher percentage of cacao. Try to consume a wide range of photo-chemical-rich foods, which can include dark chocolate in moderate amounts.
How to Reap Chocolate Health Benefits
For more flavonoid bang , choose high-quality dark chocolate. Limit daily intake to 1-2 ounces. The darker, the better.
- Unsweetened dark cocoa powder is great for you, because it has no fat or sugar, and it’s high in antioxidants.
- Avoid chocolate candies and treats made with hydrogenated fats or refined flour, neither of which promotes health.
- Also pass on products labeled “artificial chocolate” or “chocolate flavored.” These imitations are not even close to the real thing in flavor, texture or health benefits.