Health benefits of chocolate
Health benefits of chocolate
Chocolate – a high-sugar, high-kilojoule “treat” that sends blood sugar levels soaring and sabotages your weight loss regime. But not all chocolate created necessarily bad for you, rather the right kind of chocolate can impart some great health benefits.
Turn to the dark side
Dark chocolate is made from roasted pulverised natural cocoa beans. High-quality Dark chocolate is made with 70% or more cooca solids (such as Well Naturally Sugar Free Dark Chocolate) is high in polyphenols (powerful, natural antioxidants found in cocoa beans), which work to protect cells from free radicals that can cause ill health and disease. It also boasts anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, university research out of Monash University found that eating 100g of dark chocolate each day could significantly reduce the chance of heart attack and stroke, preventing 70 non-fatal and 15 fatal cardiovascular events per 10,000 people over a 10-year period.
“The natural cocoa fat (not to be confused with bad fats) in chocolate is made up of the following fatty acids in equal proportions: oleic (the same as that found in olive oil), stearic and palmitic,” says Vitality Brands Food Scientist Wladimir Budnik. “Unlike most saturated fatty acids, these fatty acids when combined have no impact on the production of cholesterol in the bloodstream; in particular the Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL), commonly referred to as “bad” cholesterol.”
Indeed, numerous studies have shown that consumption of chocolate has no impact on blood cholesterol and some studies have even shown that consumption of chocolate can promote the production of moderate quantities of High Density Lipoproteins (HDL) commonly referred to as “good” cholesterol.
“These benefits, coupled with the high levels of polyphenols, have afforded chocolate a unique nutritional position amongst most indulgent/snack foods,” Wlad says. “So much so, that the Food and Drug Administration in the US has permitted limited claims regarding cardiovascular health benefits associated with the regular consumption of moderate quantities of chocolate.”
So long, sugar
Another major health benefit of Well Naturally Sugar Free Dark Chocolate is that it’s not sweetened with artificial sweeteners, but with Stevia – a natural, plant based sweetener with zero calorific value. This makes Well Naturally Sugar Free Dark Chocolate a good alternative for people watching their weight. It is also suitable for diabetics and those with lactose intolerance.
Chocolate can boost your mood
We know chocolate is immensely enjoyable to eat. There are fewer things more pleasurable than that velvety-smooth square of rich, dark chocolate melting in your mouth. But is there a scientific reason why eating chocolate makes us happy? Some researchers argue yes.
“Dark Chocolate contains resveratrol – an antioxidant that can increase the amount of endorphins and serotonin in your brain,” Wlad explains. “No wonder we feel so good when we eat chocolate!”
So bring on a healthier, chocolate “treat” – your waistline will thank you for it!
For more on Well Naturally Sugar Free Dark Chocolate, click here.