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Health Benefits of Chocolate 

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Many of us consider ourselves ‘chocoholics,’ although we know that we shouldn’t necessarily be indulging too often to keep ourselves healthy. However, there has been scientific research that suggests that chocolate can, in fact, be beneficial to our wel-being. While chocolate is typically considered as a sweet treat to be eaten in moderation, there are several benefits to be enjoyed in the interests of both our mental and physical health – including improved mood and memory and even weight loss, to name just a few.

Check out some of the surprising health benefits of chocolate that you may not be aware of:

1. It can help your heart stay healthy 

There have been studies to suggest that chocolate contains flavonoids that are proven to keep arteries in good shape and blood pressure low, which in turn protects your cardiovascular system for the long term. These flavanols prevent free radicals from harming the body’s cells, while the contained antioxidants can limit your risk of contracting heart disease and other chronic illnesses. 

2. It can prevent memory loss 

As we get older, it’s natural for our memory to become more fragile. However, memory loss can be slowed down by eating small amounts of chocolate regularly. A study showed that individuals who were given high-percentage cocoa extracts had improved memory function over a period of several weeksChocolate with particularly high percentages of cocoa (up to 70%) works much more effectively due to the high flavonoid content, which has been shown to have direct links to brain function.  

3. Could help with weight loss

Yes, you read that correctly. Some studies suggest that dark chocolate could, in fact, help you shed pounds and become an integral part of your weight-loss plan. How? According to research, eating chocolate in moderation could help you control your appetite by sending the signal to your brain that you’re no longer hungry, which, in turn, prevents unnecessary snacking before and after meals. This doesn’t mean reaching for a bar of chocolate each day – eating bite-sized portions of chocolate or even hot chocolate bombs is a great way to treat yourself without overconsuming and could be the answer you have been looking for to lose inches off your waist.

4. Puts you in a good mood

All of us get stressed from time to time, and chocolate is often the first food you reach for to make yourself feel better after a miserable day. According to research, there is a very good reason for this. Chocolate contains hundreds of biological chemicals, many of which are linked to brain function. When these chemical reactions take place, they can trigger feelings of happiness that give you an instant mood boost. Phenylethylamine is the hormone released in the brain both when we fall in love as well as when we tuck into chocolate, alongside the other feel-good hormone, serotonin. 

5. Boosts athletic performance 

If you’re someone who enjoys keeping active, you’ll be pleased to know that some types of chocolate can improve your athletic performance. Dark chocolate is the most effective type for individuals who are keen to improve their stamina. The contained flavanols increase the amount of nitric oxide in the bloodstream, which helps reduce oxygen consumption during intense exercise. The benefit of this is that you’ll be able to maintain your exercise regime for a lengthier period of time without burning out.

Surprised to learn of some of these health benefits of chocolate? You may think again the next time you deny yourself a bite of your favorite chocolate. Of course, it is all about consuming in moderation and checking the calories in the interest of your wellbeing. 

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