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Your Health: Is Chocolate Good For You?
Lately there’s been a lot in the news about gourmet dark chocolate and health. The good news is, gourmet chocolate – our favorite indulgence – is now something we can feel good about eating.
Many scientists have been researching the possible positive effects of eating gourmet chocolate. Preliminary results indicate that chocolate may help with an astonishing array of things including these:
Chocolate helps keep your blood pressure down and keep your blood flowing well – Eating gourmet chocolate helps your body produce nitric acid (NO) which in turn keeps your blood flowing well. The flavanols in cocoa especially help keep fat from building up to clog your arteries.
Chocolate keeps your heart in good working order -
Chocolate is rich in flavanoids. (Flavanoids are plant compounds with very powerful antioxidant properties.) There are a great number of flavanoids in cocoa beans, from which chocolate is made. Chocolate flavanoids are called flavanols. Eating chocolate seems to help improve cardiovascular function.
Chocolate reduces your pain –
Chocolate makes your body produce endorphins, which work like natural opiates and reduce pain sensitivity. Chocolate is actually a natural analgesic.
Chocolate lifts your mood –
Chocolate makes your body produce endorphins, which work like natural opiates and reduce pain sensitivity. Chocolate also helps you feel happier and less anxious by producing serotonin.
Chocolate gives you a boost in energy –
Chocolate contains the stimulants theobromine, caffeine, tyramine and phenylethylamine. These combine to give you an energy boost, particularly if you are feeling “foggy” in your focus or thinking during the day.
Chocolate can help you live longer – Eating a moderate amount of dark chocolate or dark cocoa in particular can help extend our lives. Now that’s a healthy treat.
Old school thinking said that chocolate would be unhealthy in a few ways, such as causing weight gain or acne. New evidence shows that chocolate boosts our appetites but does not cause weight gain. And, good news for teens everywhere. Chocolate isn’t causing that latest outbreak.
Read more: Why chocolate makes you feel good