World Chocolate Day: Why chocolate is healthy for you?
How we know chocolate today is extremely different from how it was discovered and used in ancient times. It’s hard to believe but the consumption of chocolate goes back to 1500 B.C. where ancient Olmec and Mayan tribes associated Cocoa with the Gods.
The Mayans used to consume it mostly as a bitter aromatic drink and it was allowed only to the Royals. The production of chocolate didn’t become commercial until the 1800s.
Chocolate is made from cocoa beans that are naturally bitter with an aromatic smell. The more bitter the chocolate, the more beneficial it is supposed to be for the health.
It is said to have an aphrodisiac effect and improve sexual drive due to the flavonoids present in it. The science behind it is that chocolate stimulates the release of serotonin that is considered to be a happy hormone. It has many other health benefits as well if the chocolate consumed has 65 % and above cocoa. There have been findings to support many benefits of chocolate and a few also says that chocolate increases the blood flow and hence helps people get smarter and calmer.
There are many other benefits of chocolate, especially dark chocolate with higher amounts of cocoa. 8 top benefits are:
- Consumption of a certain amount of dark chocolate can help improve blood pressure levels in patients due to the presence of flavonoids that decreases the arterial tension by increasing the production of nitric oxide. It is found that the consumption of dark chocolate is as good as taking antihypertensive drugs.
- It is said that dark chocolate can decrease the risk of heart attack by 50% and the risk of coronary disease by 10%.
- It is found to have an effect on brain activity levels even after consumption for 2-3 hours. The increased blood flow to the brain helps it fight exhaustion, insomnia, improve learning and memory.
- Without a doubt, chocolate gets you into a good mood. It is because of the phenylethylamine present in cocoa that is responsible for the feeling of excitement and sex drive. It releases tryptophan that helps fight dullness.
- Chocolate increases the quantity of sugar in your blood and also increases the process of sugar metabolization in your body. Eating 50 grams of chocolate (85% cocoa and above) dark chocolate helps reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
- Chocolate contains iron, recommended for pregnant women. It also has magnesium which eases down the menstrual cramps.
- Chocolate increases the production of nitric oxide and hence improves the blood flow through the arteries. Erectile function is mainly dependent on the blood flow in the body and hence chocolate can be of help for men to get better in sexual response.
- It works the same for women because chocolate naturally improves the mood and serotonin levels in the body resulting in higher sex drive and better lubrication in women. Chocolate has also been said to improve orgasmic responses in both men and women due to the production of nitric oxide that increases the blood flow and hence, stimulates sexual organs for better orgasms.
Studies have also found that people who eat dark chocolate as a common food turns up to live at least a year more than others. There is no doubt that chocolate is god sent and is a gift to mankind for its flavor and all other qualities that comes with it. You must have heard of giving chocolates as a gift in a romantic relationship, now you know why.
Shivani Mehra is a budding author and a hopeless poet, a learning enthusiast and a dreamer who believes her dreams come true through writing.