29/10/2021 / Health and Fitness
Chocolates are made from the seed of the cocoa plants, an excellent source of antioxidants in the entire world. Various researches show that eating dark chocolate (not milk chocolates) can positively affect an individual's health.
Have you ever been scolded for consuming chocolates? If yes, then this might be the case of overeating them. Since childhood, we usually develop a soft corner for sweets or especially chocolates. If anyone offers us a choco bar, we never deny them. But, keeping everything within a limit can be beneficial and will satisfy the taste buds as well. So, focusing on an essential question from a chocolate lover's POV, why is it good to eat chocolate? If we focus on the pros of chocolate consumption, it may motivate you to consume chocolate regularly.
There are various types of chocolates found in the market, out of which all are safe to consume if taken in optimum quantity. But, if we have to take the healthiest type of chocolate, it is dark chocolate. It contains the maximum cocoa bean content, and these chocolates are available without added sugar content and are bitter. But, there are some other types of chocolates too that are mentioned below:
1. Milk Chocolate: This is one of the most common types of chocolate consumed by us. This chocolate contains around 40% cocoa beans with added sugar and milk. This tastes a bit sweeter than dark chocolates and is visually lighter in color due to the milk.
2. Dark Chocolate: The healthiest one and the most preferred one. This chocolate type contains cocoa products up to 70-80% with lesser sugar. Hence, these chocolates are bitter in taste and dark in appearance. Their appearance is the reason why they are called dark chocolates.
3. Semi-Sweet Chocolates: Semi-sweet chocolate can be described as a mixture of bittersweet chocolate and dark sweet chocolate. This chocolate type contains around 35% cocoa solid and added substances like sugar.
4. Bittersweet Chocolate: As the name suggests, they taste bitter than any other chocolate. But, their cocoa content varies from 35%-80%, depending upon the company and need.
Chocolates are made with an essential ingredient, i.e., cocoa beans and cocoa beans contain antioxidants. These antioxidants play a huge role in reducing the damage of cells inside the body and erasing the chances of developing cancer. This isn't the only reason to cherish chocolates, but it has many more benefits listed below.
1. Highly Nutritious: Any chocolate with high cocoa content is nutritious. Studies say that cocoa contains an optimum amount of soluble fiber and minerals like iron, manganese, copper, etc. Also, cocoa contains a few stimulants like caffeine and theobromine.
2. Antioxidants: As discussed above, cocoa contains a wide variety of powerful antioxidants, more than other foods we consume.
3. Improves Blood Flow and Reduces Blood Pressure: Flavonols present in cocoa used in making chocolates stimulate the endothelium of arteries to produce nitric oxide (NO). The production of NO in the arteries sends signals to the arteries to relax, reducing blood flow resistance. Reducing the resistance in the blood flow helps reduce the blood pressure, which increases the flow rate.
4. Reduces Risk for Heart Diseases: Consuming chocolates can help in avoiding several heart diseases too. Chocolates help reduce the susceptibility of LDL to oxidative damage and increase HDL while improving insulin sensitivity.
5. Protects Skin from the Sun: The bioactive compounds present in chocolate increase the blood flow to the skin and protect from the sun's harmful rays. Moreover, it keeps the skin hydrated and increases the skin density too.
6. Improves Brain Functioning: Have you ever heard that eating chocolates before exams can help you concentrate more? Yes, this happens if we consume chocolates. Eating chocolates before an exam improves the blood flow to the brain and helps in improving brain functioning.
Consuming chocolate per day isn't a great habit because it may lead to several health hazards. Still, as we have learned about the benefits of consuming chocolates, then we can consume them in a limited quantity per day. As some experts or nutritionists suggest, consuming 1 or 2 ounces, i.e., 30-60 g of chocolate per day, can be good but having more than that can increase the calorie intake of the body. Hence, it is recommended to involve taking chocolate in your meals, which means breaking a big choco bar into small pieces to consume it for more days.
There is no specific time for consuming chocolates in a day, as it can be taken anytime we want, but taking them at different times have different benefits. Taking chocolate in the morning can be ideal as, at this time, fats and carbohydrates are absorbed better.
While taking the chocolate treat in the afternoon can increase the hemoglobin production in the blood. If you take it in the evening, this will make you feel relaxed and cheer you up. This freedom to take chocolates daily can only be entertained if the consumer carries out regular workouts. Daily walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling should burn the calories gained by consuming chocolate.
Dark chocolate with high cocoa content can have the following amount of nutrients in it:
12 Grams Of Fat
13 Grams Of Carbohydrate
1 Gram Dietary Fibre
8 Grams Of Sugar
2 Grams Of Protein
7 mg Calcium
203 mg Potassium
We are always restricted towards overeating chocolates; why? During childhood, the sole reason was it can damage teeth. But, later on, the reasons increased and restrictions too. We cannot rely on workouts after taking chocolates, but we have to stop over-eating them too. Chocolates are rich in some compounds like caffeine and others that are sensitive to some people. Moreover, it can cause harmful effects on the nervous and cardiovascular systems, stomach problems, insomnia, etc. This doesn't mean that chocolates are harmful. They are beneficial only if taken in a limited quantity. So, here are some of the opposing sides of consuming chocolates:
We all are aware of the number of calories a single chocolate bar contains. Taking that many calories may not be suitable for the body, as we do not regularly follow workout sessions to burn those calories. For example, a 1.5-ounce milk chocolate bar contains around 230 calories, which requires 57 minutes of weightlifting or 43 minutes of water aerobics. Moreover, high-calorie intake by eating more chocolate can result in weight gain.
Eating chocolates may decrease the chances of heart diseases, but consuming excessive amounts of it may increase the chances of heart diseases as it has a high saturated fat content. A 1.5 ounce serving of chocolate contains 8.1 grams of saturated fat, whereas American Heart Association has suggested limiting daily saturated fat intake up to 16 g. Hence, it is not good to take more chocolates.
Chocolates taste sweet because of the sugar content in them. A 1.5-ounce chocolate piece can have 22.5 grams of sugar. Taking an excess of sugar in these chocolates can cause tooth decay and increase the chances of getting diabetes.
Consuming chocolates relieves stress, we all know. But, consuming an excess of chocolate can result in irregularities in heartbeat, dizziness, sweating, and anxiety. The cause of these issues can be caffeine, which is a great energy booster when taken in the required amount but can be harmful if consumed more.
Chemically, caffeine is acidic, which is found in chocolates. Hence, consuming more chocolates at a time can cause bouts of heartburn, acid reflux, and inflamed stomach ulcer.
Potassium content in chocolate is comparatively higher. Hence consuming it in excess can increase the risk for people diagnosed with adrenal diseases or kidney diseases. Moreover, these people should avoid any food that is rich in potassium.
One of the most noticeable side effects of taking excessive chocolates is the growth of acne. Chocolates contain some compounds like cocoa butter, sugar, cocoa solids, etc., that give rise to acne on the skin. Hence, the consumption of excessive chocolates should be avoided to get clear skin.
Everything is a boon until used in a limited manner, but it turns to be a ban when consumption increases. Similarly, chocolate is the most delicious and healthiest thing to consume until it's overeaten. Hence, never fear to consume chocolates daily if the consumption is being done under control or under the guidance of a nutritionist.
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