Are you on your way to gift your woman an expensive box of chocolate to win her heart? Consider this. The chocolate in your hands might actually be more beneficial for you than it is for her. From time immemorial, chocolates have been associated with women and their happiness. But recent studies show that is actually men who can benefit more from eating chocolate.
Scientists at the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health reported that dark chocolate has health benefits for both men and women. But, in women, these benefits are slightly diluted. It is actually men who can reap the full goodness of cocoa.
Made from the seeds of the cocoa tree, chocolate consists of some important compounds that can positively impact your health. From reducing the risk of heart disease to boosting your brainpower, here are 5 benefits you can reap from a good quality chocolate bar.
1) Dark chocolate could be a great pre-workout snack:
Chocolate before a workout? Well, who would have thought? But celebrity trainers Ryan and Eric Johnson absolutely suggest it. If you are someone who has trouble waking up and going to the gym, then you should start nibbling on some dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is known to help release the feel-good hormone dopamine in the brain. When you start taking a piece of chocolate before hitting the gym, a positive feedback loop is reinforced in your brain, and guess what, you will start loving all those times at the gym. More than you could have imagined!
2) Chocolate is good for your skin
Heading to a beach? Then you might want to pack some dark chocolate along with your sunscreen. It might sound bizarre but, dark chocolate can protect your skin from sunburns. A study conducted by the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that chocolate containing over 50% cocoa and preserved flavanol can help reflect harmful UV rays off your skin. This means a finer skin texture, reduced redness, and prolonged skin hydration. Well, man! What are you waiting for? Gobble down that dark chocolate.
3) Dark chocolate can improve your brain health
Flavonols present in cocoa are extremely good for your brain health. In the short-term, they can dilate blood vessels and increase the flow of blood to your brain. This in turn can make you more attentive and alert for a good 4-5 hours. The good news does not end here, regular consumption of dark chocolate has plenty of long-term benefits as well. Cocoa can enhance your brain cell functioning, brain cell regeneration, and even protect vulnerable brain cells. This means increased brain capacity, increased memory, and improved brain health. So next time you have an important meeting to attend, don’t forget to bring some dark chocolate.
4) Chocolate is one of the best sources of anti-oxidants
Forget green teas and dried fruits. Cocoa beans are among the best sources of antioxidants out there. They contain several compounds like flavonols and polyphenols that are just rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are known to neutralize free radicals present in the body and in turn, can protect you from heart disease, cancers, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease… so long as you can remember to take it.
5) Dark chocolate is highly nutritious
Who says healthy food cannot be tasty? Dark chocolate is actually quite nutritious. It contains soluble fiber and is packed with essential minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, copper, and manganese. Dark chocolate is also a good source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. But, bear in mind that these nutrients are buried in a significant amount of sugar and may add up a few hundred calories. This is why it is always best to consume chocolate in moderation. But hey, next time you finish a bar of chocolate you don’t have to feel that guilty.
It is safe to say that dark chocolate is among the very few foods that are both healthy and tasty. If you are a busy man with a tight schedule and very little time then I suggest that you have a few pieces of dark chocolate now and then. This will fill you in on some of the essential nutrients you might be missing and also help alleviate your mood.