Cocoa is rich in flavonoids, which have an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect.
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Chocolate is a comforting delicacy that, if eaten in moderation, can be beneficial to your health. The best chocolate is the one that contains the most cocoa, dark chocolate or dark chocolate. Consuming chocolate can have short and long-term effects on various parts of the body, from your brain, your heart and even your skin.
Cocoa is a food that in addition to containing stimulants (caffeine and theobromine), it is rich in plant chemicals called flavonoids that favor you in various ways.
6 benefits of enjoying dark chocolate every day:
1. It can make you feel happier
After eating chocolate, levels of brain chemicals increase serotonin and dopamine, so the mood is altered as the cocoa is absorbed into the bloodstream.
Chocolate has phenylethylamine, call “Love drug”, is a compound that acts as a neurotransmitter and a natural drug from the group of amphetamines generated by the brain, It produces sensations of pleasure and happiness.
Cocoa also contains caffeine and theobromine, which act like stimulants. Theobromine is a alkaloid that stimulates the nervous systemIt is milder than caffeine, but longer acting. Therefore, when consuming cocoa, we can experience a sensation of enthusiasm, animation or happiness, notes the Cacao Observatory.
2. Decreases anxiety and stress
Dark chocolate helps you feel better and less stressed not only because of its pleasant taste. Scientists point out that the effects improve mood and cognition of chocolate originate from the richness of flavonoids in combination with methylxanthines (such as caffeine and theobromine) containing cocoa.
Dietitian Tracy Lockwood Beckerman explains in Well + Good that flavonoids can reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels, the “stress hormone.”
3. Fight rust
Cocoa is rich in flavonoids, which have a antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect. Cleveland Clinic explains that if your body doesn’t have enough antioxidants to combat the amount of oxidation that occurs, free radicals can harm you.
For example, increased oxidation can cause low-density lipoproteins (LDL), also known as “bad” cholesterol, to formn plaque on the walls of the arteries.
4. Improve your blood flow
One of the recognized benefits of flavonoids in cocoa is that they favor the production of nitric oxide, therefore help relax blood vessels and improve blood flow, which lowers blood pressure, according to the Harvard Nutrition Source.
5. You favor your memory
Flavanols promote a faster increase in the levels of oxygenation of the blood in the brain, which can improve brain response.
Researchers at the University of Birmingham who analyzed the benefits of cocoa for mental alertness, note that “if you face more challenges, your brain needs better blood oxygen levels to handle that challenge.”
Previous research indicates that flavonoids can reduce the processes neurodegenerative, the neuroinflammation and stimulate neurogenesis in the hippocampus (the process of forming new neurons).
6. Increases insulin sensitivity
The flavonoids in cocoa can also increase insulin sensitivity in short-term studies; In the long term, this could reduce the risk of diabetes.
Before taking any chocolate bar, it is important to know that not all forms of chocolate contain high levels of flavonoids, this depends on the cocoa content and the way in which it was processed.
Not just any chocolate is beneficial
The more the chocolate is processed, the more flavonoids are lost. Most commercial chocolates are highly processed. Choose 70% dark chocolate (content of cocoa solids) or higher. A quality dark chocolate bar will not contain a lot of sugar.
Chocolate excesses are not good, it also contains a little cocoa fat and a little sugar, and add calories. Enjoy moderate portions 1-2 small squares.
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