Health Benefits of Chocolate: Lose Weight to Reduce Cholesterol

Often times we are not aware of a number of nutritious foods around us such as the content in chocolate. Chocolate is often identified as unhealthy food, even though chocolate contains a number of nutrients that are good for the human body.

Chocolate has a distinctive sweet taste, making this food almost consumed and favorite for everyone in the world. Most of the content of chocolate, consisting of various types of substances such as the following:
  • 14% carbohydrate content
  • 9% protein (consisting of protein substances, phenylalanine, amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine)
  • 31% fat
  • other substances, such as alkanoids (substances that make chocolate taste bitter)

A number of substances in chocolate are so diverse that make chocolate good for consumption and also provide health benefits.

There are two types of chocolate that are generally known, namely dark chocolate and milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is considered healthier than milk chocolate, because it is higher in antioxidants and has less sugar and fat content. In addition, the flavanol content in dark chocolate is more than milk chocolate.

Benefits of Chocolate for Health

The main ingredient of chocolate is cocoa. The flavanols in cocoa have antioxidant effects that can reduce cell damage and reduce the risk of certain diseases, such as heart disease. Here are the benefits of chocolate for health

1. Helps reduce cholesterol

The study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, suggests that consumption of chocolate can help reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, also known as "bad cholesterol."

The researchers investigated whether chocolate containing sterols (PS) and cocoa flavanols (CF) had any effect on cholesterol levels. The authors concluded, "regular consumption of chocolate bars containing PS and CF, as part of a low-fat diet, may support cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol and raising blood pressure."

2. Cognitive function

Scientists at Harvard Medical School have suggested that consuming two cups of hot chocolate a day can help keep the brain healthy and reduce memory loss in older people.

The researchers found that hot chocolate helps increase blood flow to the part of the brain where it is needed.

3. Lowering the risk of heart disease

Research published in The BMJ, shows that eating chocolate can help lower your risk of heart disease by a third. Based on their observations, the authors concluded that a higher rate of chocolate consumption could be associated with a lower risk of cardiometabolic disorders. They are calling for further experimental research to confirm whether eating chocolate is beneficial.

4. Lowering the risk of stroke

Canadian scientists, in a study involving 44,489 individuals, found that people who ate one serving of chocolate were 22 percent less likely to have a stroke than those who didn't. Also, those who had about two ounces of chocolate a week were 46 percent less likely to die from a stroke.

5. Increase Insulin Production

Researchers in Italy recently, conducted a study of 15 people to consume 3 ounces of dark chocolate or white chocolate in the same amount, which does not contain phytochemical flavonoids for 15 days. Then this study shows the results, that insulin resistance (a risk factor for diabetes) is significantly decreased in those who eat dark chocolate. So the benefits of chocolate can also increase insulin.

6. Lose Weight

Unlike the benefits of fruits which are known to be good for maintaining body weight, consuming chocolate is a fear for dieters. In research conducted by the University of Copenhagen resulted in the discovery that dark chocolate provides a feeling of fullness such as the benefits of guava and the benefits of apples, rather than white chocolate. This means that chocolate is quite useful to help you lose weight.

7. Overcoming Diarrhea

Most of us only know a number of plants that provide support for diarrhea treatment such as the benefits of guava leaves. Whereas the cultural history of South America and Europe since the 16th century is to provide diarrhea treatment with cocoa. Later this was confirmed by research in modern science. Scientists at the Children's Hospital of the Oakland Research Institute found that the flavonoids in cocoa bind to a protein that regulates fluid secretion in the small intestine and is useful for stopping diarrhea.


The Impact of Consuming Excessive Chocolate

Research on women aged 48 and 83 years for 8 years, concluded that consumption of chocolate too often has a bad effect on the body. Research has found that about 19 to 30 grams of chocolate consumed per week can reduce heart failure. But those who ate it almost every day, saw no significant benefit to the heart. Because it cannot be denied that chocolate is a high-fat food which affects body weight. Therefore, consume chocolate according to your needs and don't overdo it!

In addition, consumption of chocolate is also believed to have harmful effects on the body. For example, triggering pimples and exacerbating existing acne. However, this still requires further research.

The delicious chocolate taste also often causes addiction or addiction. In addition, cocoa in chocolate also contains caffeine, which can cause side effects in the form of nervousness, increased urination, rapid heart rate, skin allergies, constipation, and can cause migraines.

Chocolate Eating Tricks

You can get various benefits of chocolate, as long as you eat it properly. Currently, many packaged chocolates are marketed with a lot of added ingredients, so that it can actually result in an increase in fat, sugar and calorie content. This is certainly not good for your health, because it can lead to various risks of disease.

Basically, cocoa in chocolate contains low sugar and fat substances. Meanwhile, the insoluble fiber possessed by cocoa is mostly derived from the unprocessed cocoa seed coat.

If you want to take advantage of chocolate for health, then choose unsweetened cocoa powder that can be served in low-fat milk, wheat porridge, or other foods and drinks that you consume.

One tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder contains at least 20 calories, about 0.5 grams of fat and 1 gram of fiber. This type of cocoa also does not contain saturated fat.

Unlike dark chocolate, milk chocolate does not contain fiber at all. In addition, milk chocolate is higher in calories, fat and saturated fat.

To get the various benefits of chocolate that have been described above, pay attention to the label on the product packaging before buying it. It's best to avoid products with lots of added ingredients and excessive sweeteners.

If you have certain medical conditions and want to eat chocolate to meet nutritional needs, there is nothing wrong with consulting your doctor first.

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