19 Things You Probably Didn't Know about Chocolate

04 February, 2020
 

Chocolate has a really pleasant flavor, ideal on its own or combined with many other foods and desserts. Many people feel guilty after eating chocolate without realizing that a few ounces a week can provide their body with healthy nutrients. Don’t believe us? Keep reading to discover 19 facts about chocolate!

A growing number of studies have determined that dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants. Moreover, it has a many important health benefits. Studies found that dark chocolate is loaded with flavonoids and other antioxidant compounds, making it a positive addition to your diet.

Many people are completely unaware of the true nutritional value of chocolate. As a result, we often develop a negative view of it. However, after reading these 19 facts, we hope you’ll have a better idea of exactly what this ingredient has to offer.

Top 10 facts about chocolate

Broken chocolate bar

  • Chocolate contains a negligible amount of caffeine when compared to other products like coffee and tea.
  • Eating chocolate can help treat and prevent different aches and pains. Thanks to the chemical reactions that occur in the body when we eat sweet foods, it acts a natural analgesic, according to several 2013 studies.
  • Just 3.5 oz of dark chocolate contains around 647 calories.
 
  • According to studies, the nutrients in chocolate help the growth of “good” bacteria in the body.
  • Due to its flavonoid content, chocolate helps to protect the skin from the sun.
  • Its aroma increases theta brain waves, which induce a state of relaxation. Eating chocolate also stimulates the excretion of endorphins, which are responsible for feelings of pleasure and well being by increasing serotonin levels. All this was confirmed in the 2013 study cited earlier.
  • Eating chocolate can help to improve memory and concentration. This is also due to its high flavonoid content. However, some academic publications question the real influence of flavonoids in of themselves on the human body.
  • It may help prevent cavities as the antibacterial agents in cocoa beans counteract the high levels of sugar. However, there is insufficient evidence to guarantee that this is the case.
  • It reduces fatigue and improves physical performance (probably due to the small amounts of caffeine mentioned earlier).
  • The high antioxidant content in dark chocolate can increase life expectancy in those who consume it regularly as part of a balanced diet. Of course, this also depends on a number of other factors, such as lifestyle, general habits and diet.

Other facts about chocolate

  • In this study, it was revealed that dark chocolate can help to protect the brain against neurodegenerative diseases.
  • It’s really good for the heart thanks to its antioxidant content. Eating dark chocolate helps dilate the arteries and promotes blood flow. In addition, it helps prevent plaque from accumulating on the artery walls, according to the investigation by Valenzuela B., cited at the beginning of this article.
 
  • Although many people won’t believe this, chocolate can help with weight loss thanks to its antioxidant content and ability to satisfy hunger. However, the majority of commercial chocolates contain a lot of sugar, so it’s best to discuss your chocolate intake with a nutritionist.
  • Eating chocolate during pregnancy helps prevent stress and, according to research, it may even help to prevent pre eclampsia.
  • It’s found in a large number of beauty products, as the polyphenols it contains have properties which are beneficial to the skin, according to these studies.
  • It’s believed that dark chocolate could help control and prevent coughs.
  • Its antioxidants keep you looking young.
  • The flavonoids in chocolate fight and impede the action of free radicals in the body. Because of this, it’s said that chocolate could help prevent disease and promote cellular regeneration. As we’ve already mentioned, there are experts who question the affects of flavonoids on the human body.
  • And, finally, cocoa contains oleic acid, a type of fat that can help raise levels of good cholesterol.

Recommendations: why eat chocolate?

Bar of dark chocolate
 

  • Dark, bitter chocolate is the most beneficial to your health. It’s far better than white or milk chocolate, as it contains less sugar and more cocoa.
  • Moderate your chocolate consumption to a maximum of 2 ounces per day. However, it’s best to consult with a nutritionist to discuss the recommended portion for your particular case.
  • Those with diabetes and problems with obesity should consult their doctor before adding dark chocolate to their diet.
  • And, finally, when buying chocolate, make sure that it contains at least 65% cacao.

We hope you now have enough information about chocolate, and that you understand this food and its incredible properties a little better.

 
  • Alfonso Valenzuela B. EL CHOCOLATE, UN PLACER SALUDABLE. Instituto de Nutrición y Tecnología de los Alimentos (INTA), Universidad de Chile. https://scielo.conicyt.cl/scielo.php?pid=S0717-75182007000300001&script=sci_arttext
  • SABOGAL-GUÁQUETA Angélica Maria; MUÑOZ-MANCO Juan Ignacio; CORTES-RENDÓN
    Natalie; RAMIREZ-PINEDA José R.; LAMPREA-RODRIGUEZ M.; OSORIO-DURANGO
    Edison; CARDONA-GÓMEZ Gloria Patricia. Flavonoides como estrategia terapéutica
    en neurodegeneración: hallazgos y retos. https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/1698/169831208011.pdf