There are two types of chocolate that are generally known, namely dark chocolate and milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is considered healthier than milk chocolate because it is higher in antioxidants, less sugar and fat. In addition, the flavanol content in dark chocolate is also more than milk chocolate. A study states that chocolate is useful in reducing various risks of disease. Here are some health benefits of chocolate for you should know.
1. Reducing the Risk of Heart Attack
Chocolate can reduce the risk of heart attack by almost 50% and coronary disease by 10%. Flavonoids contained in chocolate are rich in antioxidants that can reduce the risk of heart disease. Eating chocolate in a reasonable amount also reduces the risk of atrial fibrillation, which is an irregular heartbeat that can increase the risk of stroke, heart failure, and other heart complications.
2. Improve Insulin Production
Researchers in Italy recently conducted a study of 15 people to consume 3 ounces of dark chocolate or white chocolate in the same amount, which did not contain flavonoid phytochemicals for 15 days. Then this study showed results, that insulin resistance (risk factors for diabetes) significantly decreased in those who ate dark chocolate.
3. Lowering Blood Pressure
Substances called flavanols in cocoa work like blood pressure-lowering drugs. Flavanol stimulates the body to produce nitric oxide in the blood, which helps open blood vessels. Researchers say eating chocolate regularly will reduce blood pressure.
4. Helps Lose Weight
If you feel too much to eat, dark chocolate can be a solution to reduce the appetite to chew even more. Eating dark chocolate can help regulate appetite, according to a small study by University of Copenhagen researchers. This applies if you like sweet, salty or fatty foods.
5. Increase Intelligence
If you are in a situation that gives enough pressure, it’s good to consume dark chocolate. Chocolate will not only help reduce the effects of stress on the environment, but will also increase brain power when it is really needed. This condition was discovered by researchers from University of Nottingham, who found that drinking flavanol-rich cocoa had an effect on increasing blood flow to key parts of the brain for 2 to 3 hours. This can improve performance and alertness in the short term.
6. Recovering Muscles Faster
After exercising, don’t forget to drink or eat chocolate, because it is proven to be able to recover the body more quickly, especially in the muscles. A study from the University of Texas at Austin found that athletes who drank low-fat chocolate after exercise – not carbohydrate-based sports drinks or calorie-free drinks – experienced faster recovery.
You can get various benefits of chocolate, as long as you eat them properly and correctly. Currently many packaged chocolates are marketed with a lot of additional ingredients, which can lead to an increase in fat, sugar, and calories. This is certainly not good for your health, because it can lead to various risks of disease.
To obtain the various benefits of chocolate that has been described above, pay attention to the labels on the product packaging before buying it. Preferably, avoid products with lots of additional ingredients and excessive sweeteners.