The ancient Aztecs considered cocoa beans to be “the food of the Gods”, while Europeans believed it to be the cure for various ailments. But today it has been turned into a sweet-treat called ‘chocolate’, which is one of the world’s most favorite comfort foods.
What makes it even better is that it is filled with heaps of health benefits but this only applies to chocolate which has a higher raw cocoa content, which is ‘dark chocolate’. Although it has a bitter taste because of the pure cacao beans content, you can still enjoy a little sweetness in it from the low sugar content.
So here’s how eating dark chocolate loves your body and health after you eat a piece of it:
Within 10 Minutes
1. It boosts your mood and energizes you, thanks to the tryptophan component found in cocoa, which increases your brain’s secretion of serotonin (a neurotransmitter which is responsible for sleep, memory, and lowering depression).
2. It reduces your blood pressure because of its naturally occurring vasodilator properties, which is a chemical found in drugs that lower blood pressure.
3. It boosts the circulation of blood in your brain and expands your blood vessels’ capacity, which enables us to focus better before carrying out any mental activity.
4. It also protects your teeth (as strange as it may sound), because the qualities of cocoa butter act as a natural protective shield for our teeth and prevent bacteria from growing.
Within 30 Minutes
5. It helps fight off sore throats or coughing because cocoa has a rich supply of an enzyme called theobromine, which is said to be even more effective than codeine (a chemical derived from opium and is used to relieve coughing and pain)
6. It protects our skin from being damaged by the sun because the rich antioxidants and flavonoids found in cocoa fight free radicals that threaten to enter our skin and wreak havoc.
7. It supplies our body with essential vitamins such as Vitamin B1 which maintains appetite and growth, Vitamin P which keeps our cells and blood’s capillary walls strong and resistant to harm, and Vitamin E which protects our body’s cells from free radical damage.
8. It also gives our body the often taken for granted but needed micro-elements such as calcium for proper bone development, magnesium to keep our immunity up and cell walls sturdy, iron for proper red blood cell functioning and production.
After A Few Days
9. It can also lower our anxiety levels because the cocoa in dark chocolate helps reduce the amount of stress hormones (also called cortisol) released by the brain.
10. It can prevent or reduce our diabetes risk because cocoa’s naturally containing flavonids help elevate the nitrogen oxide levels of our blood which thereby subside the sugar levels and even reduce our cravings for unhealthily sweet foods.
11. It cleanses our blood vessels of toxins and impurities because of its flavonids and antioxidants, which in turn helps the heart, as it lowers the risk of heart diseases.
12. It increases our intelligence levels because the flavonids and magnesium in it work to impact our memory positively, making it a must-eat for those aged from 7 to even 70!
13. It slows down our natural aging process because the cocoa’s antioxidants keep our cells in working and youthful condition and it also neutralizes those free radicals which age us faster.
14. It makes children happier, and it’s said that the babies of mothers who ate dark chocolate during their pregnancy, showed more bravery and were almost always smiling or in a happy mood.
The Final Bittersweet Note!
1. When buying the best chocolate for your health, make sure you choose ones which have more than 70% cocoa content.
2. Eat about 2 to 4 pieces of dark chocolate a day because chocolate contains too much sugar and has heaps of natural fats, so eating excess can increase your risk of having stubborn fat in places you may not like and eventually lead to obesity.
3. It is not advised for those who have kidney problems or are genetically disposed to kidney stones, to eat dark chocolate.