Potential Health Benefits of Eating Chocolate
March 5, 2015
Hi Passion Fit Crew! I hope you all are doing well. Today I wanted to talk to you guys about chocolate. Even though I’m a health, wellness and fitness professional, I have to admit that I absolutely LOVE chocolate!!! So when more and more studies started coming out over the years about the potential health benefits of eating it, I was beyond excited. However, it’s important to note that while these studies may exist and I’ll reference some of the studies in this post, there is still more research needed on this topic to draw any definitive conclusions. Therefore, moderation is still very important when it comes to consuming chocolate and also checking with your doctor if you have any health concerns.
So what types of chocolate are considered “healthy?” Here is a list for you based on chocolate that is higher in antioxidants, fiber and minerals:
– Non-fat cocoa
– Unsweetened baking chocolate
– Dark chocolate
The important things to ensure here are that you’re minimizing the amount of sugar, saturated fat, caffeine and calories you’re consuming and that there is a high percentage of cacao in the chocolate (ideally between 70-85%), which is filled with healthy chemicals that can help prevent various diseases.
Many studies, including some from John Hopkins University School of Medicine and Harvard University School of Public Health, suggest that consuming cocoa, unsweetened and dark chocolate in moderation could reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and heart attacks, due to fewer blood clots, less inflammation and an increase in blood flow. These types of chocolates may also contribute to a lowered risk of diabetes, due to more control in insulin sensitivity. In addition, consuming chocolate could result in an enhancement in the action of neurotransmitters in the brain, which could reduce stress and fatigue and improve brain functioning, happiness, mood and sleep. Finally, consuming chocolate could help improve your skin because it contains flavanols, which can help protect skin from sun damage.
Here are some articles with more details on these studies and findings:
I enjoy eating dark chocolate covered almonds as a snack or putting in some dark or unsweetened chocolate chips in whole wheat pancakes, low-fat, Greek yogurt, steel-cut oatmeal or whole grain cereal. I also enjoying drinking hot cocoa with skim milk. How do you like to eat or drink chocolate?
That is it for today! Thank you so much for reading my post and I’ll be back with another one soon. And with that, I think I’ll go indulge in a little bit of dark chocolate now… 🙂