Chocolate is a calorie-dense product but it can also be beneficial for your health and weight loss. Check out the five advantages of chocolate and enjoy it in moderation!
Chocolate is often associated with self-indulgence, it’s synonymous with calories, sugar, and fat. However, this is only an upper layer of this diverse dessert. Studies1Katz D. L., Doughty K., Ali A. (2011, November 15). Cocoa and Chocolate in Human Health and Disease. Antioxidants and Redox Signaling. DOI:10.1089/ars.2010.3697show that dark chocolate has multiple health benefits! Before you give up this calorie-dense treat for the sake of faster weight loss, consider the five amazing features it has.
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Dark chocolate has the unique ability to boost your metabolism as it is filled with monounsaturated fatty acids. Cacao beans can affect2Qian F., Korat A. A., Malik V., et al. (2016, August). Metabolic Effects of Monounsaturated Fatty Acid-Enriched Diets Compared With Carbohydrate or Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid-Enriched Diets in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Diabetes Care. DOI:10.2337/dc16-0513 the way your organism synthesizes fatty acids, and in turn, decreases the volume of carbs and fats your body absorbs.
Research3Martin F. P. J., Rezzi S., Pere-Trepat E., et al. (2009, December). Metabolic Effects of Dark Chocolate Consumption on Energy, Gut Microbiota, and Stress-Related Metabolism in Free-Living Subjects. Journal of Proteome Research. DOI:10.1021/pr900607v, conducted by Nestle scientists states that chocolate can boost metabolism by affecting the level of stress hormones in the blood and by improving the diversity of gut microbiota.
Because of its anti-inflammatory features4Ellinger S., Stehle P. (2016, May 26). Impact of Cocoa Consumption on Inflammation Processes—A Critical Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients. DOI:10.3390/nu8060321, dark chocolate can help with post-workout recovery as it inhibits vascular inflammations. Some athletes say that one ounce of dark chocolate is enough to fix soreness after an intense workout in the gym. Try it and you’ll be surprised how much better you feel after exercises.
According to the University of Copenhagen studies7The University of Copenhagen. (2008, December 23). Dark Chocolate Is More Filling Than Milk Chocolate And Lessens Cravings. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081210091039.htm, dark chocolate can eliminate cravings for salty, sweet, and fatty foods as it makes you feel full. Moreover, it is more efficient than milk chocolate. Some nutritionists even recommend eating a bit of dark chocolate 20 minutes before a meal to lower your appetite.
Studies8Shah S. R., Alweis R., Hajim N. I., et al. (2017, September 19). Use of Dark Chocolate for Diabetic Patients: A Review of the Literature and Current Evidence. Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives. DOI:10.1080/20009666.2017.1361293 show that chocolate can affect insulin synthesis in the body in several ways. For example, cocoa polyphenols are known to influence insulin resistance and improve glucose tolerance.
What’s more, because of the healthy fats in dark chocolate, the sugar it contains won’t be absorbed into the bloodstream as quickly as sugar from other sweets. This will stop the dreaded insulin spike.
Scientists5Nehlig A. (2013, February 5). The Neuroprotective Effects of Cocoa Flavanol and Its Influence on Cognitive Performance. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04378.x state that those who eat dark chocolate are less stressed, sleep better, have lower levels of cholesterol, and lower blood pressure. Chocolate is known to stimulate the cognitive function of the brain and improve mood. However, the systematic review6Tuenter E., Foubert K., Pieters L. (2018, March 14). Mood Components in Cocoa and Chocolate: The Mood Pyramid. Planta Medica. DOI:10.1055/a-0588-5534 of surveys and studies about the influence of chocolate on the brain shows that the mechanisms of this connection are not yet well known.
Dark chocolate (72% of cacao and more) is way too beneficial for your health and weight loss to cut it out completely from your diet. Especially today, when you can easily find chocolate with no added sugar and even 99% chocolate.
Enjoy your favorite treat in moderation (no more than 28 g a day) and make your journey to the body of your dreams less stressful!
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