When people think of chocolate's effect on their health, they often overlook all the good stuff. However, chocolate has more than a few benefits to offer individuals.
Before you put down that box of truffles or chocolate dipped strawberries, learn how it truly affects your body.
Heart Health Benefits of Chocolate
While it's true that consuming large amounts of chocolate can potentially cause you to gain a few pounds, eating it in moderation may do wonders for your overall well-being. CNN reports that chocolate can reduce your blood pressure and boost your heart health.
"Studies have shown heart benefits from increased blood flow, less platelet stickiness and clotting and improved bad cholesterol," Mary Engler, a chocolate researcher and director of the Cardiovascular and Genomics Graduate Program at the University of California, told the news source.
Skin Boosting Abilities of Chocolate
Discovery Health reports that although many people believe that chocolate is a big cause of breakouts and acne, this simply isn't true. In fact, chocolate can have a positive effect on the skin if consumed in moderate amounts.
CNN reports that in a study conducted by German researchers, 24 women were given a half cup of flavonoid-enriched cocoa daily for three months. At the end of the experiment, the women had softer, smoother skin. Also, their body showed less redness after being exposed to ultraviolet light. Researchers believe that chocolate can help improve blood flow to the skin and prevent some of the damaging effects of UV rays.
Think Dark When It Comes to Chocolate
While milk chocolate is seemingly the standard when it comes to everything from truffles to candy bars, most experts will agree that the best chocolate for your health is dark. Developing an acquired taste for this variety can help you reap the benefits of cocoa on a regular basis. YouBeauty.com reports that dark chocolate has been proven to help reduce stress and relax blood vessels. However, it's still a good idea to read the labels and ingredients before buying and indulging in chocolate of your choice.
The Mayo Clinic states that you should look for items that have a 65 percent cocoa content or higher. Limit yourself to three ounces per day to avoid potential weight gain. Experts say that because commercial chocolate tends to have ingredients that add sugar, it can result in more calories and fat consumption.