Chocolate, Health and Feeling Good About Yourself

Chocolate and Health

Despite a checkered reputation, there are a wide and growing variety of potential health benefits associated with chocolate which include: the prevention of declining cognition, lowered cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of cardiovascular issues. Furthermore a recent discovery by scientists of biologically active phenolic compounds within cocoa beans has encouraged extensive research into its effects on blood pressure, ageing and stress. Chocolate is quickly becoming renowned for its outstanding and previously unproven antioxidant effects. The medical literature continues to stack up further highlighting the importance of chocolate as part of a health, balanced diet.

Chocolate may help reduce bad cholesterol levels

A recent study in The Journal of Nutrition aimed to analyze the effects of chocolate upon cholesterol levels in the human body. Amazingly the authors concluded that the regular consumption of chocolate as part of a healthy, low fat balanced diet may improve cardiovascular function and health by both lowering cholesterol levels and improving the regulation of blood pressure.

Chocolate may help prevent stroke

Research involving just under 50 000 people determined that individuals eating chocolate were 22% less like to suffer from a stroke. Interestingly those who consumed chocolate regularly and still suffered from a stroke were 46% less likely to die as a result of that stroke.

Chocolate may prevent and reduce the rate of memory decline

A study conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School suggest that drinking two cups of hot chocolate each day may prevent memory decline in the elderly and well as maintaining general brain health. The authors of the study suggested hot chocolate worked by helping preserve blood flow in working areas of the brain.

Chocolate may reduce heart disease risk

A paper published by the British Medical Journal suggested that the continued consumption of chocolate could potentially help lower the risk of developing heart disease by up to a third. The authors concluded that chocolate consumption seems to be associated with a considerable reduction in the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.

So next time you feel guilty about eating your favorite type of chocolate, don’t!

Joshua Brownlow