How to Get the Most Health Benefits from Eating Chocolate
If you’re like most people, you probably think of chocolate as a delicious treat. But did you know that eating chocolate has health benefits as well? That’s right – eating chocolate can actually provide some health benefits.
So how can you get the most health benefits from eating chocolate? The key is to choose dark chocolate, unsweetened cocoa powder, or chocolate with a high cocoa content. These types of chocolate are richer in antioxidants and other nutrients that are good for your health. And while you shouldn’t go overboard, a few squares of dark chocolate or 1-2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder each day can give you some health benefits.
The health benefits of chocolate.
Chocolate is made from the beans of the cacao tree, and these beans are rich in flavanols. Flavanols are a type of phytonutrient, which means they’re a natural compound that’s found in plants. They’re also antioxidants, meaning they can help protect your cells from damage.
Flavanols have been linked with a number of health benefits, including improved heart health, lowered blood pressure, and improved cognitive function. One study even found that people who ate high-flavanol chocolate every day for three months had lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and higher levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
As we mentioned, flavanols are a type of antioxidant. Antioxidants are important because they can help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause cell damage, and they’re believed to play a role in some chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
Eating foods that are rich in antioxidants like chocolate can help neutralize free radicals and reduce their harmful effects on your body. In addition to flavanols, cocoa beans also contain other antioxidants like polyphenols and catechins.
Chronic inflammation has been linked to a number of serious health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Some studies have found that cocoa flavanols may help reduce inflammation by increasing levels of anti-inflammatory compounds in the body and by reducing markers of inflammation in the blood vessels themselves.
The best way to eat chocolate for health.
The health benefits of chocolate are largely due to the cocoa flavanols and antioxidants that it contains. These substances have been shown to help lower blood pressure, improve circulation, and reduce inflammation.
The best way to get these benefits is by eating dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. Dark chocolate is less processed than other types of chocolate and thus retains more of the beneficial substances. It is also important to choose a dark chocolate that is unsweetened or has only a small amount of sugar added.
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Another good option for getting the health benefits of cocoa flavanols and antioxidants is unsweetened cocoa powder. Cocoa powder can be used to make healthy beverages or added to other foods such as yogurt or oatmeal. When buying cocoa powder, be sure to check the label to make sure it does not contain added sugar or other unhealthy ingredients.
Chocolate with a high cocoa content
If you want to eat chocolate for its health benefits, it is important to choose a product with a high cocoa content. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the more flavanols and antioxidants it will contain. However, it is important to remember that even dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa can be high in calories and fat, so it should be eaten in moderation.
How much chocolate should you consume for good health?.
Every day, a couple of squares of dark chocolate
If you want to enjoy the health benefits of chocolate, aim for a few squares of dark chocolate each day. Look for a bar that contains at least 70% cocoa content, and try to keep your portion to around 1 ounce (28 grams). This amount gives you some leeway to indulge in your sweet tooth while still providing health benefits.
1-2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder a day
If you’re looking for a more concentrated dose of cocoa flavanols, mix 1-2 tablespoons (5-10 grams) of unsweetened cocoa powder into your favorite beverage or recipe. You can also add it to oatmeal, yogurt, or smoothies. Just be sure to watch your sugar intake, as many recipes that call for cocoa powder can be high in sugar.
Use moderation when eating high-cocoa chocolate
Chocolate with a high cocoa content is also beneficial for health, but it’s important to consume it in moderation due to its higher fat and sugar content. If you choose this option, look for bars that contain at least 85% cocoa and limit your portion size to 1 ounce (28 grams) per day.
If you’re looking to improve your health by eating chocolate, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, choose dark chocolate or chocolate with a high cocoa content for the most benefits. And second, moderation is key – aim for a few squares of dark chocolate or 1-2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder per day. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy the delicious taste of chocolate while reaping its many health benefits.