Many people try to stay away from chocolate because it makes them fat. But few know about the benefits chocolate has for our health.
For example, dark chocolate can improve cognitive function, help prevent cancer and slow memory loss. Dark chocolate is filled with nutrients, and it’s one of the best sources of antioxidants. It can improve overall health and protect the heart from disease.
A recent study made by the researchers from the University of Warwick in Luxembourg showed that people who consumed 100 grams of chocolate (one bar) each day had improved liver enzymes and lower insulin resistance compared to those who didn’t eat chocolate. Also, 80% of those who ate 24 grams of chocolate per day were more physically active, younger and more educated than those who said they did not consume it every day.
Chocolate contains polyphenol, an antioxidant which protects the body from cardiovascular and degenerative diseases. Polyphenols are also found in tea, coffee, cloves, flaxseeds, and chestnuts.
Choosing the Right Chocolate
If you rely on chocolate as your main source of antioxidants, then it’s important to be able to make the difference between natural cocoa and its more processed forms. Dark chocolate has four times the fiber and half the sugar of milk chocolate. If you also want to avoid weight gain, you should balance chocolate consumption and physical activity.
If you want your chocolate to contain only natural ingredients, why not prepare your own? With this recipe, you will get an excellent chocolate using only a few ingredients.
You will need one cup of raw cacao, half a cup of organic coconut oil, 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup, 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and a handful of chopped almonds.
Melt the coconut until it’s liquid and add all the other ingredients, except for the almonds. Lay out a cookie sheet covered with baking paper and pour in the mixture. Sprinkle the almonds and put it in the freezer. If the consistency of this chocolate is too bitter for your taste, simply add more maple syrup or honey.
Info about Chocolate
More than 600,000 people die of heart diseases each year in the United States, making it the number one cause of death. Chocolate can reduce insulin resistance, a major cause of heart disease, which is often overlooked due to other contributing factors, such as obesity.
Only one square of dark chocolate per day can improve your heart health, but try to eat that with at least 70% cacao, which is a little more bitter but does not have the added sugar and fat. Also, be aware of the calories. A bar of 85% dark chocolate has 600 calories, of which 450 come from fat.
Besides protecting your heart, chocolate also makes you happy by increasing the serotonin levels in the brain. No wonder that people crave chocolate when they are feeling upset or stressed. Eat dark chocolate daily, get physical activity and you will protect your heart and your body.