It has been proven that a healthy dose of chocolate can be very beneficial for us. Some centuries ago, the Aztecs and Mayans used cocoa beans because of their energizing and medicinal properties. Since chocolate is made with that same seed, it makes sense that it has the same properties.
However, before getting into the beneficial properties of chocolate, it is worth mentioning that this only applies to dark chocolate since it is the one with the high concentration of flavonoids from the cocoa bean. On the other hand, eating white or milk chocolate does not provide the same positive effects.
Some of the benefits of chocolate include the following:
- Cholesterol: One of the components of chocolate is oleic acid, a fat that benefits cholesterol. How? Every time you eat it in the correct amount, it decreases bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol. Along with this, oleic acid contributes to reducing arterial pressure.
- Fiber content: One of the reasons chocolate makes you feel so satisfied is its high levels of fiber. This can help you feel fuller for longer and help you avoid other unhealthy high-calorie foods.
- Heart health: According to Harvard University, eating the right amount of chocolate five times a week can benefit your heart. This is also thanks to the flavonoids, natural antioxidants that adverse the formation of blood clots and:
- Help fight the inflammation of blood vessels.
- Help regulate arterial pressure.
- Skin Benefits: Dark chocolate contains catechin and phenols, two antioxidants favorable for the skin. The following benefits apply when chocolate is either eaten or when it is used in a face mask.
- Fights skin inflammation and promotes skin regeneration
- Smooths wrinkles
- Helps fight aging
- Benefits the circulatory system
Natural antidepressant and stress relief
Chocolate increases serotonin levels and, when this chemical neurotransmitter is found in the right levels, it contributes to mood improvement.
Therefore, chocolate can be considered an antidepressant, which provides stress relief and stimulates calmness and concentration.
How much chocolate should you be eating?
Let’s start by saying that you should be eating dark and not milk or white chocolate. The chocolate you eat should not have additives or milk, and the recommended cocoa percentage of 70% or more.
The ideal chocolate consumption amount is 10 to 20 grams every ten days, no more than that. On top of that, chocolate consumption should be complemented with an active lifestyle to take proper advantage of its benefits.