Chocolate is not just chocolate, it can also be a surprise gift for someone, happiness food, PMS hack and mood booster. Whenever the mood is off, most people recommend eating chocolate. To express and fulfill love, chocolates are more preferred than cakes. But did you know that chocolate is also very beneficial for your overall health? Yes, it can be helpful in balancing your blood pressure. Let us know some more such benefits of chocolate on World Chocolate Day.
Dr. Prasad Kuvalekar, Consultant Physician, Internal Medicine, DPU Private Super Specialty Hospital, Pimpri, Pune, explained to Health Shots the connection between chocolate and blood pressure. Before knowing about their benefits, let us know some more facts about chocolate benefits.
World chocolate day
Chocolate was first introduced to Europe on 7 July 1550. To celebrate this day, every year July 7 is celebrated as World Chocolate Day. The main purpose of celebrating this day is dedicated to the quality of chocolate. You can celebrate this day by eating different types of chocolates or by preparing them at home.
You can make people aware of healthy alternatives to chocolate. A lot of sugar is added to all the chocolates available in the market these days. So it is safer for all of you to consume chocolates containing healthy cocoa powder.
Dark chocolate proves beneficial for your health for these 4 reasons
1 Chocolate is helpful in boosting mood
Dr. Prasad says, “It is a well-known fact that serotonin levels increase with the consumption of certain foods. However, many people stay away from this treatment for health reasons, but this is a misconception. People who consume dark chocolate show less symptoms of depression than people who do not eat chocolate.
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Dark chocolate boosts serotonin and endorphins
“Nothing is good in excess and the same applies to chocolate. A small amount of dark chocolate can help you feel better while refreshing you. Serotonin is found in dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. Dark chocolate can boost our mental health by increasing serotonin levels in our systems.”
Serotonin is an effective antidepressant that provides relief from all internal stress. And endorphin is the feel good hormone. Consuming chocolate also increases the level of endorphins in our brain, thus making it a comfort food for the human brain. “Dark chocolate can stimulate these hormones to the maximum extent, as the cocoa in dark chocolate maximizes endorphin release.”
Dark chocolate gives relief in low blood pressure
Dr. Prasad says that “dark chocolate containing 70% cocoa is considered healthy with rich antioxidants, polyphenols and flavonoids. They cause vasodilation which relaxes the blood vessels and improves blood circulation. Thus helping your blood pressure to remain balanced.
“Chocolate and cocoa contain theobromine, which balances blood pressure and protects the health of your heart. Cocoa beans are high in theobromine, so dark chocolate has more theobromine than white chocolate.”
Chocolate is also effective in diabetes
According to the doctor regarding the consumption of dark chocolate in diabetes, dark chocolate also helps in reducing fasting glucose levels and reducing insulin resistance. But diabetic patients should avoid the consumption of normal chocolate available in the market. Also, the portion should be decided only on the advice of your doctor.
Which chocolate is better for health
Do not consume added sugar and flavored chocolate. For proper results, eating dark chocolate containing antioxidants, polyphenols will be appropriate for health. Choose dark chocolate containing 70% cocoa, consuming it can be beneficial for you in all forms. Along with keeping the blood pressure balanced, it also keeps the cholesterol level normal and acts as a mood booster for you.
Consuming chocolate is beneficial for your mental health. However, before enjoying this sweet treat, keep in mind that self-control is a must. Eating chocolate daily will keep both our heart and mind happy and healthy. But choose dark chocolate containing cocoa, not flavored and chocolate with added sugar. Keep in mind the quantity of chocolate as well.
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