The Health Benefits of Chocolate

July 7th was World Chocolate Day. And, believe it or not, eating chocolate has several health benefits. That is, of course, when you choose the right chocolate. 

You should be aiming to purchase chocolate with a high cocoa content and zero sugar or additives. That way, you’ll gain the full boost from the cocoa content and avoid any issues sugar can have on your body. 

Let’s look at some of the health benefits of eating cocoa regularly. 

It keeps your immune system balanced. Cocoa contains antioxidants called flavonols, which help keep your immune system functioning as it should, fighting against free radicals and other common causes of illness and disease. 

Reduces stress. People who eat dark chocolate reported feeling less stressed than those who didn’t. This is because dark chocolate reduces the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which may be why this is the case. 

Boosts heart health. The antioxidants in dark chocolate have shown signs of lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of clotting, and increasing blood circulation to the heart. All this results in lowered stroke risks, coronary heart disease, and death from heart disease.

Enhances brain function. Flavonols also positively impact brain function, including better reaction times, memory, and visual-spatial awareness. This is likely due to how Flavonols increase blood flow to the brain. 

Good for your skin. The bioactive compounds in dark chocolate may also be great for your skin, protecting the skin from sun damage and increasing density and elasticity. 

Remember, the higher the cocoa content, the more beneficial flavonols are inside. Most of the benefits seen in research are associated with chocolate with at least a 70% cacao content. Most chocolates will display their cocoa content on the package to judge their purity. 

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