20 Benefits of Chocolate for Body Health

Chocolate is liked by almost everyone. Apart from being delicious, chocolate also has various benefits for the body, from improving mood to maintaining heart health.

Starting from children, and teenagers, to adults, many people like to eat chocolate. Apart from its distinctive and delicious taste, chocolate also has health benefits.

Chocolate is processed cocoa beans that are roasted, ground, then formed into liquid, paste, or in block form.

Dark chocolate or dark chocolate contains antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which are good for the body.

Now many chocolates are processed with the addition of sugar, milk, and so on. Instead of getting the health benefits of chocolate, consuming this type of chocolate is actually dangerous for your health.

Therefore, if you want to feel the benefits of chocolate, consume dark chocolate without adding excess sugar. So, what are the health benefits of chocolate? Here are some of them:

1. Rich in Micronutrients

Dark chocolate contains a variety of micronutrients. In 100 grams of dark chocolate, there are 11 grams of fiber, 12 mg of iron, 230 mg of magnesium, 2 mg of manganese, 73 mg of calcium, and much more.

Apart from containing the eight essential amino acids that the body needs, chocolate also contains various vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B12, and vitamin K.

2. Stimulant effects on the body

Cocoa is the basic ingredient of chocolate which has several components with stimulant effects on the body.

These stimulant effects include caffeine, which is a physical, digestive, and brain stimulant. Chocolate contains theobromine, a compound similar to caffeine, but its effect is weaker.

This compound is a stimulant for the central nervous system so it can make you more alert and awake.

3. Improves Mood

This benefit of chocolate may be familiar to many people. Yes, chocolate is known to be able to improve mood or mood.

The benefits of chocolate are obtained from several chocolate ingredients which have antidepressant effects.

The phenylethylamine component in chocolate is known to improve mood. Apart from that, magnesium also has a role in maintaining a stable mood balance.

4. Contains antioxidants

Apart from vegetables and fruit, chocolate is also a food ingredient that contains antioxidants. In fact, chocolate contains a wider variety of antioxidants than other foods.

The antioxidants contained in chocolate are polyphenols, flavanols, catechins, and so on. The antioxidant content of chocolate can protect the body’s cardiovascular system and help prevent cancer.

5. Controls Blood Pressure

The flavonoid content in chocolate can stimulate the endothelium, namely the walls of the arteries, to produce nitric oxide (NO).

The role of NO itself is to send signals to relax the arteries thereby reducing blood pressure. This is the reason why one of the benefits of chocolate is controlling blood pressure.

6. Increases Good Cholesterol (HDL) and Reduces Bad Cholesterol (LDL)

Another health benefit of chocolate is that it can increase levels of good cholesterol or HDL in the body. Cocoa has also been proven to significantly reduce bad cholesterol or LDL.

This happens because the chocolate content, namely sterols and flavanols, can enter the blood vessels and protect lipoproteins from cell damage.

7. Improves heart health

By reducing bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol, cocoa directly functions to improve heart health status.

For long-term effects, the benefits of chocolate have the potential to reduce the risk of death from heart disease

This benefit of eating chocolate has also been proven by research published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The study found that people who consumed dark chocolate more than 5 times a week were able to reduce their risk of heart disease by 57 percent.

8. Improves brain memory

Studies show that elderly people who are given cocoa extract with high flavonoid content can experience a significant increase in cognitive function. The reason is, that flavonoids work by increasing blood circulation to the brain.

Apart from that, the caffeine and theobromine content in chocolate can improve brain function in the short term. For this reason, the benefits of chocolate are said to be able to improve brain memory.

9. Helps Alzheimer’s Sufferers

A study found that consuming chocolate can repair the damage that occurs in Alzheimer’s sufferers, although the effect is not significant. 

10. Inhibits Aging

The high levels of antioxidants in chocolate can help prevent aging that occurs with age.

This aging can be visible externally (wrinkles and sagging skin) or invisible, such as the aging of body cells.

Then, the high manganese content in cocoa also plays a role in the production of collagen, which is a protein produced to keep skin looking young and healthy.

11. Helps Lose Weight

Dark chocolate can actually help you lose weight if consumed in the right amount or portion.

According to research, chocolate can trigger the release of hormones that control appetite, making it easier for you to lose weight.

In the digestive tract, chocolate can also behave like a prebiotic, which is a type of fiber that encourages the growth of good bacteria in the intestines.

The more good bacteria there are in the body, the more metabolism and absorption of nutrients will increase.

12. Helps reduce complications in pregnancy

A study presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine explained that consuming 30 grams of chocolate a day during pregnancy can increase fetal growth and development.

Then, the theobromine substance in chocolate is also considered to reduce the risk of preeclampsia in pregnant women, because it can stimulate the heart and make arteries enlarge.

13. Has Antidepressant Properties

Chocolate contains serotonin which can help restore a good mood when there is a problem at hand.

14. Improves Blood Circulation

The flavonoid content in chocolate can help improve blood circulation in the body. 

15. Protects skin from sun exposure

Chocolate contains polyphenols which will provide good benefits to the skin. Using chocolate as a skincare routine has been proven to provide skin protection from sunlight, increase blood circulation, and improve the skin’s moisture texture.

16. Eye Health

Chocolate is able to maintain eye health, especially dark chocolate, the flavonoid content can protect blood vessels in the eyes, which in turn strengthens the cornea and retina naturally. 

17. Reduces Pain 

Dark chocolate can reduce pain during menstruation. Eating dark chocolate is very effective in young women. 

18. Reduces the risk of stroke

Chocolate can protect the lining of blood vessels, thereby preventing the formation of dangerous blood clots. Blood clots in the brain cause ischemic strokes

19. Increases Insulin Sensitivity

Several studies show that dark chocolate can help improve the body’s response to insulin. The insulin hormone has an important role in regulating sugar levels.

20. Reduces the risk of diabetes

Eating chocolate can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, consuming dark chocolate can help reduce sugar levels naturally. Apart from that, dark chocolate can also support the body’s use of insulin. 

Those are some of the health benefits of chocolate. Even though it has many benefits, you need to be aware of the side effects that occur if chocolate is consumed excessively.

Moreover, many chocolates are processed with the addition of sugar, milk, and so on. Instead of getting the benefits of chocolate, consuming this type of chocolate is actually dangerous for health.

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