Most people love to eat chocolate. Simply thinking about the number of different products that include chocolate as an ingredient is quite astonishing. These products exist because people appreciate the addition of chocolate flavoring wherever they can find it.
“After about 20 years of marriage, I’m finally starting to scratch the surface of what women want. And I think the answer lies somewhere between conversation and chocolate.” – Mel Gibson, American Actor, Producer, and Multi-Award-Winning Performer
While not bringing along anything of particular insight into this article, Gibson’s quote is no less truthful (or funny). Contrary to popular opinion, chocolate isn’t necessarily unhealthy. Certainly, some candy bars and other chocolate products are laden with sugar and are not a beneficial addition to any diet. That being the case, some specific types of chocolate – especially of the dark variety – do have health benefits that are worth considering.
In fact, the health benefits of consuming chocolate are quite extraordinary. One particular study discovered a link between consuming chocolate and reducing anxiety. Another study discovered that dark chocolate consumption resulted in a decreased appetite; another, a reduction in depressive symptoms. These discoveries alone would be enough for anyone to add a bit of chocolate into their daily diets. However, the benefits of eating chocolate extend beyond these studies.
Here are 6 reasons that we should all have a piece of chocolate everyday:
1. Chocolate enhances your brainpower
Additionally, “math power” and other brain functions are improved by consuming chocolate. According to a study by the U.K’s Northumbria University, subjects that ate chocolate and then waited 90 minutes tested for enhanced mathematical and cognitive aptitude. Experts believe this is due to the antioxidant flavanol, something that’s been shown to expand blood vessels and increase blood flow to the brain.
To achieve such results, it is best to eat chocolates that are dark and bitter, such as baking chocolate and cocoa powder. As a measurement reference, approximately 6 grams of cocoa powder or a 4-ounce chocolate bar with 70 percent cocoa will usually suffice in helping to boost brainpower.
2. Chocolate soothes the gut
Subjects that were tested for high levels of stress hormones were put on a dark chocolate regimen for an indefinite amount of time. However, after just two weeks, samples taken from the patients showed a marked decrease in hormonal levels in the gut related to stress. Particularly, metabolic bacteria in the gut became more active and produced additional healthy bacteria that were then made available to the body. Scientists believe that flavanol and other healthy polyphenols contributed to this noteworthy discovery, which showed chocolate’s positive gut health benefits.
3. Chocolate boosts metabolism
In a more interesting finding, chocolate was discovered to aid in the enhancement of metabolic function. Subjects that ate approximately 10 tablespoons of cocoa powder daily showed a remarkable decrease in insulin levels, followed by a period of weight loss. Flavanol prebiotics are thought to help prevent leaky gut, reduce inflammation, and stimulate metabolic function – three healthy outcomes that are generally indicative of weight loss.
4. Chocolate improves skin health
In one study, women who drank a high-flavanol cocoa drink every day for three months showed a marked increase in blood flow to the epidermis. The results: skin density increased by 16 percent, thickness by 11 percent, moisture by 13 percent, and dryness was reduced by 42 percent! The potent antioxidant and flavanol properties of chocolate are thought to be the primary reasons why skin rejuvenates at such a fast rate.