While you have heard that chocolate is bad for your health and have been basically ‘programmed’ to avoid eating excessive chocolate, you would be delighted to know that chocolate can be healthy. Keep in mind though that you should stay away from heavily processed chocolate full of corn syrup, sugar and other types of sweeteners and processed fats, these certainly cause sugar cravings. The 'healthy chocolate' we are talking about today is dark chocolate, especially raw dark chocolate as it has much less sugar in it.
Believe it or not, due to the health benefits of dark chocolate, many health experts suggest that you can eat 20 to 30 grams of dark chocolate daily. Always make sure that the dark chocolate you eat is not heavily processed, and should not have unhealthy ingredients added like artificial sweeteners, flavours and high fructose corn syrup.
Here are some of the health benefits of dark chocolate.
Very High In Antioxidants
Dark chocolate contains flavanols, which are a type of flavanoid found in chocolate and cocoa. Flavanoids can only be found in plant foods. They are also extremely potent antioxidants that help to counteract and eliminate free radicals in the body.
Good For The Heart
Dark chocolate is known to be good for the heart. It contains good levels of HDL, which is known as the "good cholesterol" in your body, and consuming it regularly could help to lower your LDL cholesterol or your "bad cholesterol" as much as 10%. It also helps to lower elevated blood pressure as well as help to clear clogged arteries for optimum cardiovascular health.
Natural Feel-Good Food
One of the chemicals that stimulate the natural anti-depressant serotonin is tryptophan, found i Pron chocolate. Not only that, but dark chocolate also helps to stimulate the production of endorphins, also known as the feel good hormone. Dark chocolate is good to promote healthy mood and lets face it, it tastes great as well.
Recent studies have shown dark chocolate to provide cancer-fighting properties. It is anti-inflammatory and has the ability to hinder excessive cell division. Having a rich concentration of antioxidants makes it potentially a good food to fight cancer, along with other foods such as garlic, blueberries and red wine.
Prevent Tooth Decay
Now contrary to popular belief that chocolate could ruin your smile, dark chocolate could actually help to prevent tooth decay. There is a compound known as theobromine in dark chocolate that helps to eliminate the common bacteria found in the oral cavity that contributes to tooth decay.
If you over do the sugar laden chocolate over Easter then doing a Sugar Detox will stop your sugar cravings and get you back into balance and losing the extra kilos in no time. For more info on the Sugar Detox Program