Cocoa in dark chocolate has a high flavonoid content that promulgates blood vessels inside the body. Cocoa is rich in procyanidin, a compound that helps fight high blood pressure.
But before running to fill your basket with processed chocolate products, note that many chocolates are high in calories, sugar, and saturated fat.
To maximize the health benefits of chocolate, avoid eating processed chocolate products that contain refined sugar and milk fat. Instead, choose the purest dark chocolate you can find – the more pure and untreated it is, the higher the flavonoid content. The best dark chocolate to eat has at least 60% solid cocoa.
Darker is chocolate, the better it is for health. Dark chocolate has as much as five times more antioxidants than traditional chocolate. Cocoa powder contains twice as many antioxidants as dark chocolate and is almost free of fat.
So, how do cocoa and chocolate help our health?
Decreases blood pressure
Flavonoids in cocoa (procyanidins) help balance blood pressure and have other beneficial effects on blood circulation. Research has shown that consuming cocoa-rich products, such as dark chocolate, decreases both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Reduces Heart Attack Risk
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health have found that the chemical agent in cocoa beans has similar biochemical effects to aspirin to reduce the risk of a heart attack. aggregation of platelets. Platelet aggregation can be fatal if clot forms and blocks a blood vessel, causing a heart attack or stroke. The study showed that blood platelets coagulated more slowly in people who ate chocolate.
Controls Cholesterol Levels
Cocoa is believed to prevent the oxidation of low density lipoprotein cholesterol making it less likely to form plaque and cause atherosclerosis. A study from Penn State University found that Diets high in cocoa powder and dark chocolate are related to lower levels of low density lipoprotein cholesterol or bad cholesterol.
Improves blood flow to the brain for two to three hours.
A study from the University of Nottingham has also suggested that cocoa flavonols in chocolate can improve brain function to help combat insomnia, fatigue and the effects of aging.
Enhances the mood
Improves glucose treatment. An Italian study found that dark chocolate consumption increased the body’s metabolism of glucose and could reduce the risk of diabetes.
Calm a persistent cough. A study found that theobromine, an ingredient in cocoa, may be more effective as a cough medicine than traditional treatment drugs.