Easter Chocolate Can Actually Improve Your Health
Easter Chocolate Can Actually Improve Your Health. With Easter right around the corner, we wanted to do a festive article for you. We wanted to give you something positive since there has been an influx of bad news surrounding the coronavirus.
So we went through the study databases and found some really great information that should make the good majority of us in quarantine happy.
Chocolate is healthy! Not just the dark, bitter kind either. Chocolate can now be generally regarded as health-enhancing. Woot!
So sit down, grab a chocolate bar to snack on and check out the awesome information we have come across!
Why Chocolate Was Seen as a Bad Thing
So we’ve always been told chocolate is part of that candy/snack/bad food group.
Let’s face it, you look at the back of that Hershey bar and the sugar level is quite high. Then there are the calories and fats and we assume they’re highly processed.
Some chocolate makers do include some additives to their products but others keep it pretty simple with very basic ingredients.
Eat that whole candy bar and you’re on your way to diabetes and obesity.
… Or so we thought.
Scientists Proving Us Wrong, Again: Chocolate (even with the added sugar) is Good for Us
By now you’ve probably heard that cocoa is full of some really great polyphenols that provide your body with antioxidant benefits.
But most of the other studies say that it should be at least 70% cocoa which also means it’s bitter and not quite as tasty.
However, a new study has come out saying that even chocolate bars with less cocoa and more sugar, you’re still able to have a positive metabolic reaction to eating the chocolate. In normal terms, this means you activate your metabolism and lower your BMI.
In addition to this good news, the more you eat chocolate on a regular basis the better effects you’ll have.
Is it time we change the saying to “a chocolate bar a day keeps the doctor away”?
But that’s not all chocolate is good for…
Chocolate Can Help Improve Your Cholesterol
There are many studies out there that help to prove this fact. Since cocoa is a prebiotic it needs to be fermented to allow all of its beneficial properties to be bioaccessible to you.
The metabolites (or byproducts of the fermentation process) acetic acid and lactic acid bacteria are antifungal in addition to lowering your cholesterol.
They help to promote the formation of short-chain fatty acids which have numerous helpful effects all throughout your body.
Chocolate Can Protect Your Heart
This is where the polyphenols come into play. Flavonoids are the main group of polyphenols you’ll get from chocolate.
Flavonoids keep your heart strong by increasing nitric oxide (NO) production. Nitric oxide helps your heart through vasodilation. Vasodilation means your blood vessels become more open. This allows blood to flow freely which delivers important nutrients and oxygen more efficiently.
With blood flowing to and from your heart at higher rates it helps your heart to become stronger.
Although chocolate has been proven through several studies to help your heart health, doctors do not yet advise patients using chocolate to improve heart health. Those with heart problems should also take care when eating chocolate as caffeine can cause certain issues.
Chocolate Can Improve Brain Health
NO isn’t only good for your heart. It actually improves your brain health too.
NO helps to increase blood flow to your brain — just like it does the heart — allowing for better cognition and function.
It helps to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF improves neuronal (nerve cells) survival and generation along with improving synaptic growth.
This is especially the case in the areas of your brain that deal with memory retention and learning capabilities.
Caffeine in chocolate can also help to improve your focus and energy levels. Maybe try swapping that extra cup of coffee for a chunk of chocolate and see how you feel.
Chocolate Can Improve Your Mood
We all probably knew this one subconsciously. Raise your hand if you start craving chocolate when you’re in a bad mood.
Yeah, us too.
There might actually be a scientific reason for that sudden urge to stuff your face with candy bars.
Chocolate increases levels of serotonin and its precursors. Serotonin is one of your ‘happy’ neurotransmitters. So when your serotonin levels are normal then you tend to be in a better mood.
Chocolate Can Help Improve Your Gut Microbiome Health
Theobromine is one of chocolate’s health-improving qualities. Researchers put it to the test to see the difference between chocolate and theobromine on the microbiota.
It was found that both chocolate and theobromine improved short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) levels in the stool of the tested subjects. This means that there are more SCFAs being circulated throughout the body, which also means better overall body health.
Another study found that chocolate helps to improve microbial diversity in the gut. This led to lower anxiety and stress levels. This same study also found that subjects had higher energy levels.
Eating Chocolate Daily May Help Improve Cardiometabolic Disorders
**Please do not stop taking medications and replace them with chocolate. This study specifically excluded people taking antidiabetic medications for a reason. Talk with your doctor before adding or stopping any medications.**
This study tested how daily chocolate consumption would affect insulin resistance and serum liver enzymes. Both of these are indicators of cardiometabolic disease and are often found in diabetic patients.
As stated above patients taking antidiabetic drugs were excluded from this trial. The results of this study proved that eating chocolate on a daily basis helped to improve insulin and liver enzyme levels.
Chocolate and Atrantil
There are no studies linking chocolate and Atrantil, but there are a lot of similarities between the two.
Both contain powerful polyphenols.
Both are prebiotics.
Both improve your gut health.
Both can give you a better quality of life.So go ahead and eat that chocolate bunny this Easter. It’ll put you in a good mood and support your health!
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