Health benefits associated with chocolate

We all know that chocolate, even at high cocoa percentages, is not a magical food or a “cure it all” for serious diseases (and that most magazine titles are exaggerating!). However, there are indeed health benefits associated with chocolate that can give a boost to our intense daily routines. Let’s check out some of them.

Chocolate is nutritious
Especially dark chocolate is loaded with minerals and contains a fair amount of soluble fiber. Dark chocolate is, in fact, one of the best sources of zinc, a nutrient responsible for activating about 300 enzymes in the body and boosting metabolism. It is also rich in iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus and selenium. It is also a complete food, containing carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Chocolate improves your mood
Don’t we all crave chocolate when we are having a bad day? There is a scientific reason behind that: chocolate regulates the feel-good hormone serotonin and dopamine. These hormones can lift the mood and make you feel energetic. According to a review of eight chocolate studies published in the Journal Nutrition Reviews, eating chocolate can help boost your mood and enhance your cognition, thanks to powerful flavanols in it.

Chocolate boosts mental sharpness
Research suggests that the flavanols in cocoa can help improve attention, processing speed, and working memory—all things you want on your side in order to succeed. Moreover, the study shows that cocoa flavonoids can keep your cognition in top shape by sending more blood flow to the hippocampus—the part of your brain where you form memories.

It will give you a pick-me-up
One ounce of dark chocolate with 70% cocoa has about 25 milligrams of caffeine. Theobromine is also a gentle stimulant, and together they give you the boost you might need in the middle of a busy day.

If you are looking the get the most health benefits from your chocolate, the rule of thumb is to always go with high cocoa percentages (anywhere from 70% up to 100% cacao).

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