I love chocolate.
I particularly like eating dark chocolate with milk chocolate and caramel while drinking creamy coffee and perhaps some chocolate mousse with hot fudge sauce. Or maybe a white chocolate mocha with a caramel nougat chocolate bar.
Unfortunately, I also know that chocolate is not exactly the healthiest thing, especially when paired with the above in not-so-moderate amounts. But we all know that, so let’s look at some of the good benefits of chocolate!
Types of Chocolate and what’s in them
So initially, dark chocolate is probably best for you. White chocolate is simply cocoa butter, milk and sugar- pure fatty carbs. Milk chocolate is the most common chocolate and has much of the same stuff as dark chocolate, it’s just “diluted” with extra milk and sugar. And dark chocolate is what we love!
Dark chocolate contains the most cocoa and the cocoa is the bit with these lovely healthy things in it!
- Magnesium: perhaps you, like me, have been told to eat dark chocolate because it has magnesium which is good for, in my case relaxing muscles, and in general, prevents high blood pressure and those associated disorders! However, if you’re looking to lower blood pressure, ensure eating in moderation because too much sugars and fats will raise that blood pressure and entirely negate the healthy aspect.
- Flavanols: these are just plant nutrients (fancy name being phytonutrients) and like many plant products, they’re good for you. The cocoa flavanols have been shown to lower levels of bad cholesterol types which can improve your blood pressure and heart health as well!
- Smartness: well, maybe. Some studies have been done to show a correlation between good brain health, memory function and cognitive function and drinking two hot chocolates every day. Other lab trials show that it could be due to the cocoa extract Lavado and that you should consume chocolate weekly.
- All those nutrients in the above table! Seriously, some of those are pretty good. For example, myself and many other people are iron-deficient and there’s 2.13mg in 100g of dark chocolate, so if your serving is perhaps 50g, then you’ve just thrown in an extra milligram of iron into your diet!
- It may actually make you feel better. This is because chocolate contains a compound called phenylethylamine (PEA) which binds as a neurotransmitter to your brain to stimulate the release of endorphins. Those same endorphins that get released when you exercise…
Imagine, you can sit on the couch eating chocolate and release the same ‘feel-good’ chemicals as runners always talk about!
So there’s the main stuff. Chocolate’s really good for your heart, unless you eat a lot. It’s got great nutrients … yay! And best of all, it legitimately makes you feel better! Tie that in with that lovely coffee and if you haven’t, read this post about the science and health of your daily cup!