Chocolates, to many, are the best thing in the world. It is the time of the year where one finds chocolates and its recipes everywhere and after we munch on everything that our eyes meet, we naturally end up with a guilty feeling in the pit of our stomach. Too much of anything can be bad for health. However, researchers have found out that chocolates can be eaten without much worry about the hyped bad side effects. Also a little bit of sugar in moderation isn't as terrible as one thought.
Chocolates contain much more levels of antioxidants, which react with the free radicals produced in the body and thus help in the prevention of aging process. Cocoa-rich chocolate is just as potent as the antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables. Some research suggests that chocolates could be even more beneficial than fruit because of their higher antioxidant level. Latest research suggests that chocolates can also boost one's mood and reduce depression as they are high in magnesium, which aids in relaxation and contain anandamide, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood.
Cocoa also helps in blood flow, as it contains the powerful antioxidant called flavanol, found in plants. Scientists at head quarters of chocolate brand Mars Bar teamed up with the University of L'Aquila in Italy to find that these antioxidants can increase blood flow to the brain. Consuming plenty of flavanol rich cocoa can help retain the brain power a person had 20 years ago, say researchers. But it should be made sure that one sticks to variants of chocolates with at least 70 percent of cocoa.
Also scientists have reported that regular consumption of chocolates high in cocoa-content can help
lower the cholesterol and improve blood pressure. It's all because of the flavanols and plant sterols, both of which increase the flexibility of veins and arteries. The best thing so far in the research is that cocoa can help in weight loss. Having a little bit of dark chocolate helps reduce the cravings for other unhealthy food, making it easier to stick to the planned diet. It is believed that having a piece of chocolate each day or a whole chocolate bar one-two times a week is fine.