New research is proving that chocolate is good not only for the soul, but for your mind and body as well.
Studies have already established that chocolate contains a number of beneficial ingredients. For instance, resveratrol, an important compound in chocolate, may not only protect your brain and nervous system, but actually prolong your life.
One of the most compelling reasons to make chocolate a part of your regular diet may be for the antioxidants it provides. The Oxidation process damages your DNA to the point that your risk of developing diseases like Alzheimer’s, heart disease and cancer are elevated.
This is why the antioxidant polyphenols in chocolate are so valuable, as they have the ability to stop free radical mediated oxidation. This helps to decrease your risk of those and other diseases by directly interfering with one of the major preventable causes of chronic degenerative diseases.
Chocoholics Aren’t Weak-Willed – They Just Know What Makes Them Feel Good
There’s actually a chemical reason called anandamide, a neurotransmitter produced in the brain that temporarily blocks feelings of pain and depression.
It’s a derivative of the Sanskrit word “bliss,” and one of the great things about chocolate is that it not only produces this compound, it also contains other chemicals that prolongs the “feel-good” aspects of anandamide.
Don’t Worry – Eat Chocolate
Beyond the fact that chocolate contains the feel-good compound, there are additional clinically-confirmed reasons why chocolate has been referred to as “the new anti-anxiety drug.”45g of dark chocolate a day for 2 weeks reduced stress hormone levels.
But remember that many chocolate brands are high in sugar, calories and unhealthy saturated fats, so buyer beware. First, be sure that the chocolate you’re eating is dark chocolate.
There is also a big difference in chocolate’s health effects, depending on how much you eat. Be careful about the type of dark chocolate you choose; Avoid chewy caramel-nut-covered dark chocolate.
Milk chocolate does not have the same healthy effect as dark chocolate, because milk often prevents absorption of polyphenols.
Eating the right amount is crucial if you want it to be a benefit and not a burden.