Fitness & Lifestyle With a Tinsel Town Twist

7 Health Benefits of Chocolate

Oh Chocolate…sweet, beautiful, tasty chocolate. If you’re anything like me, you’re pretty addicted to this stuff, am I right? Chocolate typically gets diagnosed as a guilty pleasure, and it can be depending on how much you’re eating, but chocolate actually has some health benefits!

Here they are:

May Lower Cholesterol

Just make sure your chocolate has plant sterols (PS) and cocoa flavanols (CF).

Memory Aid

Chocolate may prevent memory decline. According to scientists at Harvard Medical School, two cups of hot chocolate A DAY may help reduce memory decline in older people because it helped improve blood flow in the brain. Keep Alzheimer’s at bay with hot chocolate.

Lower Risk of Stroke

Studies have shown that those who eat chocolate daily may have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. As in a 22% lower risk of stroke and 46% lower risk of dying from a stroke if you did have one. Your daily chocolate binge can be as much as 100 grams for these health benefits!

Prenatal Benefits!

Chocolate can benefit babies. If you’re pregnant, enjoying chocolate every day may benefit fetal growth and development. Not a bad way to benefit your baby, right? Happy mommy, happy baby.

Overall Brain Health

Chocolate may help keep your brain healthy. A study tested subjects cognitive health through a series of tests related to memory, organization and scanning/tracking. The results showed eating chocolate just once a week could potentially improve cognitive function.

Athletic Performance

Research suggests that dark chocolate might actually improve your fitness training performance. It does also say a little dark chocolate. But go ahead, have a little piece after that tough workout. You earned it!

Lower Your Risk of Diabetes

Last but not least, a new study suggests that eating just a small amount of chocolate daily could potentially lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Keep in mind, though, that chocolate (just like most things) should be eaten in moderation. Don’t go “Super Size Me” and eat nothing but chocolate all day, every day, because that won’t work.

Want to make sure you’re eating the right kind of chocolate? Check these out:

  1. Stick with chocolate that contains 70 percent cocoa or higher. This is the kind of chocolate that contains all the antioxidants and good for you benefits. Not the highly processed, loaded with calories and sugar chocolate candy you typically find in the checkout aisle.
  2. There is research tying daily chocolate consumption to lower bone density and strength in older women. Better keep doing those weight bearing and strength training workouts to offset this loss. Because there’s no way I’m giving up chocolate.

These are some really great benefits to eating chocolate. So I vote that chocolate isn’t a “bad for you” food. Just one to thoroughly enjoy in moderation.

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