Chocolate is very delicious food, loved by many people. However, not everyone knows all the 5 health benefits of chocolate.
Chocolate is a food with many useful uses, elevating mood due to caffeine, theobromine, tyrosine and tryptophan. Among the types of chocolate, dark chocolate has high cocoa content along with antioxidants, less fat, so it is more beneficial for health. Did you know that just a small amount of chocolate can give you energy or stop coughing? Here are 5 health benefits of chocolate that have been recognized by nutritionists.
1. Chocolate Helps Improve Mood
The taste and texture of chocolate work to stimulate the happiness-producing area of the brain. Chocolate also contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that stimulates the production of serotonin, an antidepressant in the brain. Experts say that the emotions created by chocolate are similar to those when we are in love.
2. Improves Heart Health
Chocolate can help lower blood pressure, reduce blood volume (thus reducing the risk of stroke), and fight inflammation. According to studies, chocolate has a high flavonoid content. Flavonoids can stimulate the body to make more nitric oxide, which helps widen and “relax” blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure.
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3. Protect the Arteries
Flavonoids in chocolate also help prevent LDL cholesterol (the “bad”) cholesterol from oxidizing, thereby preventing narrowing of the arteries. Flavonoids contain more than 50% stearic acid – a saturated fat found in cocoa butter. Stearic acid does not raise bad cholesterol levels, it even increases good cholesterol levels.
4. Soothes Coughs
Chocolate also contains theobromine, which has a cough suppressant effect by acting on the vagus nerve (the nerve that transmits signals from the central nervous system to the brain).
5. Good for The Brain
Like green tea, chocolate also has epicatechin, which helps the brain fight the formation of clumping proteins or amyloid plaques. These are risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.
Some people worry that eating chocolate will cause weight gain or other health conditions. However, according to studies, as long as you take a small amount, there will be no adverse effects on the body.