So many studies have been done on the health benefits of chocolate, but newer research say that chocolate has a positive effect on diabetes, mood and heart disease. Read on as we investigate these claims on eating chocolate.
Studies say chocolate is healthy for diabetics
Several research has been done on the health benefits of chocolate, and new studies have shown that chocolate helps manage diabetes, improves mood and prevents heart disease. Is this too good to be true? According to some experts, chocolate is made from cacao beans, which are toasted and the insides are crushed into paste. Now this is a good start, proving that chocolate has a good pedigree of health. Read on as we discuss more on chocolates and how they can benefit your health and body.
Most of the healing powers of chocolate seems to come from flavonoids, biological chemicals that are believed to help lower cholesterol and lower the risk of developing blood clots. Other studies indicate that chocolate can relax blood vessels, bad cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure. It also improves insulin function. However, pure chocolate tastes bitter, so you need to add sugar to make it taste good. Also, pure chocolate is dry and powdery, so you need to add an emulsifier like fat so it gives an enjoyable texture. Authorities have long dubbed chocolate as harmful, and diabetics in particular have been told to avoid eating it. Is there a way to get the benefits, decrease the harmful effects of fats and sugars, and still have something you want to eat?
The healing flavanols and flavonoids are in the dark part of the chocolate. Dark chocolate is defined as chocolate that does not contain milk solids. The cocoa content of commercial dark chocolate bars range from 30 to 70 percent, or even above 80 percent for very dark bars. Some of the terms that distinguish the cocoa content in dark chocolate bars include sweet, semi-sweet and bittersweet dark chocolate. The cocoa percentage has to be printed on the label. Recent research are now pro-chocolate. Seven existing studies were analyzed and published showing that high chocolate consumption is linked to a 37 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease risk. There is also a 31 percent reduction in diabetes risk and a 29 percent reduction in stroke risk if compared to low chocolate consumption.
Flavonols and flavonoids are natural antioxidants, meaning they decrease damage to blood vessels caused by normal circulation and wear and tear. Also, chocolate has popular mood benefits, including boosting brain levels of natural opiates endorphines and the natural antidepressant serotonin. Chocolate is also found to increase levels of the well being hormone dopamine and the attachment hormone oxytocin. Some people even find that it has positive effects on their love relationships and sex life.
So should everyone now run out to the store and buy chocolate as healthy to use as medicine? Is it possible for medicine to taste this good? Some scientists thing not. They say that dark chocolate is some therapeutic medicine after studying the effect of chocolate on blood glucose levels. A little bit of cocoa a day can be useful, though, you need to look into the extra sugar, fats and calories that you can consume from chocolate. When people consume too much chocolate, the potential side effects of chocolate will be surely bypassed and exceeded by excessive weight loss.
Some people think, though, that these doctors worry too much. There should be no problem for as long as people moderately consume dark chocolate. However, concerns on blood glucose are widespread. There are doctors who advised that people who monitor their blood glucose levels should only eat small amounts of dark or semi-sweet chocolate, or varieties that contain at least 70 percent cocoa content. There are many other potential disadvantages to eating chocolate. Dark chocolate is high in caffeine that can increase blood pressure and interfere with sleep. It has also shown an effect in migraine, so need to monitor for this. Also, chocolate contains oxalates, which is usually associated with a higher risk of kidney stones. Usually, the recommended dose is an ounce of dark chocolate a day, but perhaps the experts are being too careful.
In practice, even though scientists continue to debate on the health benefits of eating chocolate, there are some experts who have made up their minds. Chocolate is good and can be consumed in so many wonderful forms. Just make sure that you do not eat too much, keep it dark, and pick kinds that do not come with added sugars. It is probably best that you do not eat it at night, so the caffeine will not keep you awake.