If you love to eat chocolate because of its wonderful taste, there is good news that may take you and your chocolate into a different level of relationship. Studies have found that chocolate also offer potential health benefits, such as: improving blood flow, reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack, controlling your cough, and many others.
- Chocolate reduces the risk of a heart attack
Studies show that chocolate can prevent blood clots, which in turn reduces the risk of heart attacks. Blood platelets clump together more slowly in chocolate eaters, the studies say.
- Chocolate improves blood flow to the brain
A study by Harvard scientists showed that chocolate improves blood flow to your brain. In this study, the subjects were asked to undergo “two weeks of enhanced chocolate intake.” They found that a fortnight of chocolate face-stuffing sped up blood flow through their subject’s middle cerebral arteries.
- Chocolate relieves fatigue
Consuming dark chocolate daily may help patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Researchers think it boosts the neurotransmitters regulating sleep and mood.
- Chocolate is good for your skin
According to German scientists, the compounds in dark chocolate, like flavonoids, protect women’s skin from the sun’s UV rays. Researchers at Germany’s Heinrich Heine University exposed chocolate eaters to ultraviolet light and found that after six weeks, they had 15 percent less skin reddening than those who didn’t eat it. After 12 weeks, the chocolate eaters’ skin was 16 percent denser and 42 percent less scaly.
- Chocolate decreases stroke risk
Chocolate contains flavonoids, whose antioxidant properties help fight strokes. A Swedish study found that eating more than 45 grams of chocolate per week—about two bars worth—led to a 20 percent decrease in stroke risk among women.
- Chocolate can control coughs
This can be a fun and delicious way to kick your cough. It seems that theobromine, one of the sweet’s chemical components, can reduce the activity of the vagus nerve, the part of the brain that triggers coughing fits.
- Chocolate may prevent cancer
Cocoa contains a compound called pentameric procyanidin, or pentamer, which is useful in cancer treatments. In 2005, researchers from the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University treated cancer cells with pentamer. The result showed that pentamer could suppress the proteins necessary for cancer growth and the cells stopped dividing.