9 reasons why you should eat chocolate
Chocolate is, along with other foods, an ingredient that until not long ago was not recommended to consume, however, today it is known that if we choose the chocolate to eat properly, it can have many benefits. Therefore, today we leave 9 reasons why you should eat chocolate.
Chocolate: black, white or milk
In the market there are a variety of chocolates that we can consume, however, not all chocolates are the same when we try to benefit from their consumption, therefore, our advice is that you always choose the purest possible chocolate.
The healthiest chocolate is black and the one that concentrates a high percentage of cocoa (70% or higher), as we have previously explained, since the higher the purity, the lower the amount of added sugars and the more antioxidants.
Pure chocolate is where we will obtain better nutrients and more health benefits, while milk chocolate or white chocolate have higher proportions of saturated fat and sugar, with a decrease in phytonutrients among their components.
So, below we give 9 reasons to eat chocolate, but always talking about dark and pure chocolate or with a high degree of purity.
9 reasons to enjoy chocolate
To the satisfaction of all chocolate lovers, here are 9 reasons to enjoy its consumption:
- It is a source of antioxidants, especially polyphenols that rise about two hours after ingestion, as evidenced in research. This indicates that the ingestion of dark chocolate with 70% or more cocoa can neutralize oxygen free radicals, take care of each cell of the body and even prevent lipid oxidation, which would reduce the risk of suffering atherosclerosis.
- It reduces blood pressure if consumed daily, as shown in a study that compared dark chocolate rich in polyphenols and white chocolate without polyphenols, therefore, the intake of high purity dark chocolate can lower blood pressure and thus take care cardiovascular function.
- Improves insulin sensitivity, which can be of great help to prevent diabetes or for people with excess weight who want to take care of their metabolism, as long as dark chocolate is consumed, because as it has been proven, white chocolate does not reduce the blood pressure or improves insulin sensitivity in the body.
- It favors blood circulation by improving endothelial function through the flavonoids found in dark and pure chocolate, as has been shown in a study, where it was found that these components dilate the endothelium and thus help prevent vascular problems and have an antithrombotic effect.
- It offers potassium, magnesium and calcium that also contribute to a correct cardiovascular health and that, in addition, can promote the function of the neuromuscular system, so its intake can help athletes, especially to recover after physical effort, such as it has been shown in previous research.
- It increases the good cholesterol or HDL, which also favors the heart and the vascular system and only in some studies a reduction in the concentrations of bad cholesterol or LDL has been observed.
- It is associated with lower body weight and a better metabolic profile, if consumed regularly in moderate amounts, as has been shown when ingested about twice a week as part of the usual diet.
- It helps to maintain healthy teeth, if dark chocolate is consumed with a high degree of purity, since it has been proven that the theobromine present in chocolate helps to remineralize tooth enamel and maintain its strong structure.
- It improves cognitive abilities, such as memory after consumption, explained in part by the increase in cerebral blood flow and the flavonoids in high purity dark chocolate.
There are many reasons why we can eat chocolate, because as we have seen, the intake of high purity dark chocolate is associated with many benefits on our health, especially at the cardiovascular and metabolic level.
How much chocholate can I eat daily?
Chocolate is not only pleasant for us, but it can also have many benefits for our body if the right quality is chosen, but as we always say, nothing in excess is recommended, therefore, the ideal is to consume a small daily portion of dark chocolate and with 70% or more cocoa.
A good portion to consume daily or 3 or 4 times a week would be a small 20-gram bar, with which we will only add 100 Kcal to our diet but we will enjoy antioxidants, minerals and all the flavor that only chocolate can offer to our body.
You know, you don't have to limit yourself when it comes to eating chocolate, just choose the right version, take a serving and enjoy all the benefits shown above.
Consulted bibliography | Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Volume 23, Issue 3, 2004; J. Nutr. August 1, 2000 vol. 130 no. 8 2115S-2119S; JAMA. 2003; 290 (8): 1029-1030. doi: 10.1001 / jama.290.8.1029 .; Am J Clin Nutr March 2005 vol. 81 no. 3 611-614; Nature 424, 1013 (28 August 2003) | doi: 10.1038 / 4241013a; Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 2009, 34 (1): 78-82, 10.1139 / H08-137; J. Nutr. September 2008 vol. 138 no. 9 1671-1676; Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Volume 37, Issue 9, 1 November 2004, Pages 1351–1359; Arch Intern Med. 2012; 172 (6): 519-521. doi: 10.1001 / archinternmed.2011.2100 .; British Dental Journal 214, 491 (2013) Published online: 24 May 2013 | doi: 10.1038 / sj.bdj.2013.499 and Physiology & Behavior, Volume 103, Issues 3–4, 1 June 2011, Pages 255–260
Directly to the Palate | Chocolate to reduce hypertension
Directly to the Palate | Chocolate, a controversial ingredient in our dishes
Image | iStock
Share 9 reasons why you should eat chocolate
- Dark chocolate