How Can You Eat Dark Chocolate Every Single Day And Still Maintain Your Health?
The researches continues to pour in about how detrimental added sugar is for our mental and physical health. In fact, studies have shown that eating too much processed sugar can raise the risk of heart disease even if you aren’t overweight.
So, given this information, you might wonder why we advocate eating chocolate every day for your health.
Doctors and scientists globally have suggested that people cut their sugar intake enormously, which would mean most chocolate would be out of the question.
What Happens When You Eat 100 g Chocolate Per Day?
Even though eating added sugars have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other health ailments, eating up to 100 gr of dark chocolate everyday can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, according to research published online in the journal Heart.
Also, the researchers in the study found that cutting out chocolate would not lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
They based their findings on results recorded from observing nearly 21,000 adults taking part in the EPIC-Norfolk study, which reviews how diet affects the long term health of 25,000 men and women in Norfolk, England.
The researchers tracked the study participants for almost 12 years, during which time 14 percent experienced either a fatal or non-fatal coronary heart disease or stroke.
Other 20 percent of participants didn’t eat chocolate, while the others consumed an average of 7 g daily, with some eating up to 100 g daily.
They found something very interesting: eating higher amounts of chocolate was associated with younger age, lower weight (BMI), lower waist: hip ratio, lower systolic blood pressure, lower inflammatory proteins, and a decreased occurrence of diabetes, along with a fairly regular fitness routine. All of these pieces of data confirm a health cardiovascular profile.
Also, the people in the study who consumed more chocolate had higher energy levels, in many cases much higher than those who consumed caffeine and energy drinks in order to get through the day.
What’s more, the researchers found that the people who consumed higher amounts of chocolate had an 11 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 25 percent lower risk of associated death. Also, the chocolate lovers had a 9 percent lower risk of hospital admission or death related to coronary heart disease.
What Researchers Say?
Even though the results from these studies seem very promising, the researchers still say that we can’t draw absolute conclusions from the at this time, as the food frequency questionnaires have a certain amount of recall bias and possible inaccuracies associated with how much food was eaten.
Even so, the researchers say that “cumulative evidence suggests that higher chocolate intake is associated with a lower risk of future cardiovascular events.” The researchers’ even say that milk chocolate, while less healthy than dark chocolate, might have some health benefits as well.
“This may indicate that not only flavonoids, but also other compounds, possibly related to milk constituents, such as calcium and fatty acids, may provide an explanation for the observed association,” the researchers explain. “There does not appear to be any evidence to say that chocolate should be avoided in those who are concerned about cardiovascular risk.”
Additional Benefits Of Eating Dark Chocolate Every Day
1. Enhances Brainpower
According to a study,subjects that ate chocolate and then waited 90 minutes tested for enhanced mathematical and cognitive aptitude. Experts believe this is due to the antioxidant flavanol, something that’s been shown to expand blood vessels and increase blood flow to the brain.
Magnetic resonance imaging studies have shown that chocolate boosts blood circulation to the brain, which can improve your ability to focus. Taking a small amount of cocoa flavanols for five days led to better blood flow to the brain in healthy adults who were performing cognitive tasks.
2. Improves Skin Health
In one study, women who drank a high flavanol cocoa drink every day for 3 months,showed a marked increase in blood flow to the epidermis.
The results: skin density increased by 16 percent, thickness by 11 percent, moisture by 13 percent, and dryness was reduced by 42 percent!
The potent antioxidant and flavanol properties of chocolate are thought to be the primary reasons why skin rejuvenates at such a fast rate.
3.Helps Digestion And Gut Health
Subjects that were tested for high levels of stress hormones,were put on a dark chocolate regimen for an indefinite amount of time.
However, after just two weeks, samples taken from the patients showed a marked decrease in hormonal levels in the gut related to stress.
Particularly, metabolic bacteria in the gut became more active and produced additional healthy bacteria that were then made available to the body.
Scientists believe that flavanol and other healthy polyphenols contributed to this noteworthy discovery, which showed chocolate’s positive gut health benefits.
4.Reduces Bad Cholesterol
People that eat around 3 ounces of dark or high-flavanol chocolate everyday have a more normalized ratio of “good” (HDL) to “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. Admittedly, scientists aren’t quite certain why this is, but it is believed that flavonoids play a particularly important role.
In a supplementary study, scientists discovered that dark chocolate helps elderly people with enhanced cognitive function and increased feelings of serenity. As a conclusion, scientists believe that chocolate’s positive effects on cholesterol levels, thinking capacity and feelings of serenity may be a promising solution, both short- and long-term in care of the elderly.
It’s the sugar in chocolate candies that rots your teeth—cocoa actually protects them. Cocoa bean husks contain antibacterial compounds that inhibit the formation of plaque and biofilms where cavity-causing bacteria can thrive. In fact, in a study of Indian children who hadn’t brushed in four days, a single rinse with a cocoa-based mouthwash reduced plaque by nearly 50 percent and killed 21 percent of bacteria.
6.Reduced Cravings & Weight Gain
Cocoa is rich in fiber and protein; a standard-size dark chocolate bar contains 4 grams and 8 to 9 grams, respectively, of each, and a tablespoon of cocoa powder contains 4 grams and 1 gram of each.
But here’s another interesting fact about chocolate.Researchers from the Netherlands found that people who simply smelled 85-percent dark chocolate reported that their appetite levels dropped by up to half. Smelling dark chocolate, they found, stimulates production of an antihunger hormone called ghrelin, and the effect lingers for about an hour.
Stress prompts your body to produce cortisol, which has an added downside of triggering the accumulation of the abdominal, or visceral, fat that builds up around your organs and can contribute to depression, along with heart disease and stroke.
Yet a 2009 study found that people who ate 40 grams (about an ounce) of chocolate every day for two weeks saw decreases in levels of cortisol in their systems compared to its levels at the start of the study.
Another study a year later showed that, over the course of 30 days, people who ate cocoa daily had 10 percent lower levels of anxiety and considered themselves 10 percent calmer than they had been at the start of the study.
8.More Effective Workout
Boosting your pre-exercise energy levels, powering through a hard sweat session, and cutting down on post-workout soreness—chocolate helps all three.
Cocoa’s catechins and epicatechins, two kinds of antioxidants, increase your muscle’s absorption of nutrients that create energy, which can help you get energized to work out and help carry you through your workout.
In one study, these energizing antioxidants produced a 30 percent increased in “fatigue resistance” in lab animals after two weeks of consistent cocoa consumption. Likewise, the anti-inflammatory compounds in cocoa can produce up to a five-fold decrease in your perception of soreness, compared to drinking carb shakes or other muscle-recovery beverages.
The best way to benefit? After your workout, put a few thumb-sized pieces of dark chocolate on your tongue and let them melt.
Well, it turns out that dark chocolate contains far more health benefits than most people realize, so next time you get a craving for something sweet, you won’t have to feel guilty for reaching for that chocolate bar!