Health Benefits of Chocolate Part 1

Gourmet chocolate that's good for you? Yes please! Recent scientific studies have shown that chocolate may actually be closer to being a health food than an off-limits fantasy for people looking to live a healthy lifestyle.  Scientists have found that Chocolate, being a plant-based food, is extremely rich in antioxidants just like blueberries, green tea, and red wine. So good news for those of you who just can’t put down that gourmet chocolate bar, you’ve been eating one of the best super foods all along!

    Gourmet chocolate has been said to positively aid in reducing a person’s risk for heart disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. Chocolate consumption leads to increased metabolic function. An increased metabolism is one of the main factors in reducing a person’s risk for heart attack, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, hence why chocolate has been linked as a combatant to these health problems. 

    The cacao plant, the essential ingredient in chocolate is one of the most antioxidant rich super fruits in the entire world. Gourmet chocolate contains these antioxidants, which have been shown to greatly reduce the risk of cancer. The antioxidants in chocolate do this by combatting and neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals actively work to age and decay healthy cells, which in turn lead to complications throughout the whole body leaving you prone to disease and other ailments, especially cancer. Having a few pieces of luxury chocolate each day can dramatically improve your health as well as reduce the risk of getting many life-threatening diseases.  Who knew that Chocolate could do as much for your health as it does for your cravings?

    In America, cardiovascular related illnesses are responsible for a huge majority of deaths each year. Doctors and scientists have been  tediously searching for a way to cut down the risk for such illnesses and have found that the consumption of flavanoids, a type of antioxidant found in plants, greatly reduces the risk for heart-related illnesses. Flavanoids protect plants from environmental toxins and when consumed, help lower blood-pressure, improve blood flow, and make blood platelets less prone to clot. This is due to the anti-inflamatory properties of the flavanoids. Chocolate contains one of the most potent and effective flavanoids called flavanols (I swear these are real words!) These blood thinning, anti-inflammitory flavonals found in the chocolate help stave off heart-related illness and protect against heart disease and heart attack.

    Recent studies have also linked Chocolate to a reduced risk in stroke. The dual purpose flavanoids that help to alleviate heart ailments such as heart disease and heart attack are also the hero behind this significant drop in risk for stroke. The flavanols in in Chocolate increase blood flow to the brain, decrease blood concentrations of bad cholesterol, and improve flexibility of the arteries to decrease the chance of stroke. A little bit of high quality, gourmet, flavanoid rich chocolate can go a long way in helping maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. 

        One more incredible thing that chocolate does to benefit your body is that it can guard your body against developing diabetes and lower the risk for high-risk patients. Chocolate has been said to help regulate insulin levels and is linked to accelerated metabolism of sugar. Impaired insulin function can lead to diabetes which then causes too much sugar to build up in the blood stream. Even though counter-intuitive at first, chocolate actually does help reduce the amount of sugar in the blood stream due to its effect on metabolism.

    So whether you are a health nut looking to add the super-powered benefits of chocolate to your body or a chocoholic searching for your fix, do your body and your taste buds a favor and indulge in a little bit of hand-crafted, gourmet chocolate today.

Stay tuned to our blog for more articles on our series on the “Health Benefits of Chocolate” by Compartes Chocolatier.