A favorite staple here at BeWell Associates, dark chocolate has many benefits that can help you stay healthy and feel great!
We know it’s delicious, but did you know these awesome facts about dark chocolate?
Chocolate Is Good for Your Heart
Chocolate lowers blood pressure and LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol! Some say it even lowers the risk of heart disease when eaten regularly. Try this recipe for making your own Coconut Oil Chocolate at home. Using coconut oil helps you reap the benefits because it’s rich in MCT oil which also helps protect the heart and brain.
Chocolate Is Good for Your Brain
Chocolate boosts the production of endorphins, the brain chemicals that make us feel good. They also help reduce pain and diminish the negative effects of stress. Chocolate is also high in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps make serotonin, a neurotransmitter that creates happiness and a positive mood.
The best delivery of these brain boosting agents is through free-form amino acids, or proteins. Try one of our chocolate protein powders, PurePaleo Chocolate, Bone Broth Chocolate, PurePea Chocolate, or PaleoMeal Chocolate.
Chocolate Helps You Feel Full
Chocolate is packed with fiber and help you feel satisfied longer, so less urge to snack. As little as 1-2 squares can eliminate hunger for a couple of hours. For even more fiber, try these delicious Grain-free Chocolate Apple Muffins.
Chocolate Makes You Happy
Well duh, of course chocolate makes us happy!! But did you know that it actually raises serotonin levels, which in return has an antidepressant effect? Chocolate also raises dopamine levels so it can give you a boost of energy and improve concentration. Try adding 1-2 tbsp. of cocoa powder to almond milk for a mid-day pick-me-up.
Chocolate Protects Your Skin
Contrary to popular belief, chocolate is actually good for your skin. Packing a whopping antioxidant punch, the flavonoids in dark chocolate help protect your skin from the harmful UV rays produced by the sun, help protect and increase blood flow to the skin, and improve skin’s hydration and complexion. Try out this all natural Chocolate Oatmeal Skin Mask.
Chocolate Reduces Stress and Promotes Weight Loss
Swiss scientists have found that giving an ounce and half of dark chocolate daily, to test subjects with anxiety, reduced their cortisol levels significantly after two weeks. Cortisol is the stress hormone that causes stubborn belly fat. Imagine, eating chocolate might actually help you lose a few pounds. Try this yummy Chocolate Avocado Pudding the next time you need a sweet treat.
These are just a few of the benefits you can obtain from eating dark chocolate. Of course, if you have a serious medical condition, by no means are we saying that chocolate is your best remedy. But there is some significant research providing information on its benefits for prevention.
There are certain chocolates that are better for you than others. Remember we are talking about dark chocolate, not milk chocolate. Milk chocolate has more sugar the milk may interfere with the absorption of the beneficial antioxidants in dark chocolate. And remember, this doesn’t mean you should eat a candy bar every day! Just a square or two will do the trick.
Angie Redmond, BS, NC
Certified Gluten Practitioner