From lowering blood pressure to making you smart, benefits of chocolate are many.
There is something insanely romantic about sitting down with a cup of hot cocoa or a bar of deliciously dark chocolate while it is raining outside.
And while jumping around in the rain may not be everyone’s cup of tea or er hot cocoa, having chocolate cannot be all that bad!
To add to it, experts say that chocolate is not all that bad!
Increasing evidence suggests that our once guilty pleasure can actually be good for you, which is just as well.
One theory why we love chocolate so much is that a brain-active chemical called phenylethylamine in cocoa allegedly stimulates the same reaction that we experience when we’re falling in love.
Another is that we crave it in an unconscious bid to top up magnesium – a mineral that helps bolster against stress – but the evidence is thin on the ground.
Here’s a list telling you how the chocolate is good for the body and soul
Firstly, it may help lower blood pressure: Flavanols found in cocoa beans aid production of nitric oxide, which stimulates blood vessels to dilate. This helps in lowering blood pressure.
It might help to keep you smart: A nice mug of cocoa might also help an ageing brain, a recent study in the journal Hypertension found. Elderly participants who received high flavonol chocolate drinks had improved mental performance after eight weeks.
It could help protect against heart attacks and strokes: Chocolate is high in saturated fat, but the particular type – stearic acid – predominant in cocoa butter does not raise cholesterol like other saturates.
Good for bones: This is where the sweeter, less cocoa-rich bars actually score better, as they count as a dairy-rich food that helps keep your bones strong.
Helps in cancer protection: Spanish researchers studying rodents fed a diet containing 12% cocoa, found that it protected against the development of colon cancer.
Also, it doesn’t (necessarily) make you fat: People who eat chocolate on a regular basis are, on average, actually thinner that those who don’t.
Finally, it might even get you in the mood to have sex!