29 Mar Indulging – guilt free
We are all about the ‘feel good’ and ‘well-being’ here at Vet Dynamics and whilst chocolate isn’t great for dogs, it is for humans!
Here are 9 great reasons you shouldn’t feel guilty about indulging in chocolate this weekend!
- Chocolate Improves Cognitive Performance
Eating chocolate on a regular basis can lead to better cognitive function — including brain activities that lead to gaining knowledge such as reasoning, memory, attention and language.
- It’s Good for the Heart
Dark chocolate helps restore the flexibility of arteries as well as preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels. In a study published in the Fasebjournal, scientists recognised that eating dark chocolate is good for the heart and it can play a good part in battling atherosclerosis, a disease associated with plaque buildups inside the arteries.
- Reduces Chances of Stroke
Eating a small amount of chocolate each day could prevent diabetes and insulin resistance. Daily chocolate consumption was also linked to a lower risk of stroke, reported in the British Journal of Nutrition last year.
- Reduces Memory Decline
Drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day could help stop memory decline and keep the brain healthy. A Harvard Medical School study discovered that hot chocolate helped improve blood flow to essential parts of the brain. Different areas of the brain require more energy to complete their tasks, and they also need greater blood flow. This relationship (neurovascular coupling) may also play an important role in fighting diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
- Mineral Abundance
Dark chocolate is loaded with a healthy collection of beneficial minerals such as potassium, zinc and selenium. A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate (70 percent or more) provides 67 percent of the RDA of iron, an important component of hemoglobin, which helps red blood cells carry oxygen from lungs throughout the body.
- See You Later, Bad Cholesterol
It’s been observed that eating cocoa can reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and raise levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL), thus lowering the possibility of suffering from cardiovascular disease again. In a study by Tokyo’s Ochanomizu University, 25 healthy Japanese men with normal or mildly high cholesterol levels were assigned to drink cocoa with sugar for 12 weeks. As a result, they experienced a 24 percent rise in their good cholesterol levels. The cocoa they drank wasn’t your typical store-bought kind. The researchers bought, roasted, cracked and ground the cacao beans in their lab!
- Healthy Skin, Too!
It used to be a common misconception that chocolate was the cause of skin acne breakouts. But that myth has been debunked. Today’s science has shown that dark chocolate is a great source of flavonols — a group of plant metabolites that have excellent antioxidant effects. These flavonols can fight against skin damage. Flavonoids also fight free radicals (molecules that have lost an electron and attack DNA, enzymes and proteins or cell membranes) in the bloodstream. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can skip wearing sunscreen if you eat dark chocolate.
- Less Stress for Mums
According to a recent Finnish study, eating chocolate reduced stress in expectant mothers. Even more fascinating, the babies of these chocolate-eating mums smiled more than those of non-chocolate-eating parents!
- Science Says Chocolate Helps You Feel Better
Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is the same chemical that your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release feel-good endorphins.
Alas, chocolate does come with a high calorie count, but everything is fine in moderation right?
We hope you have a fantastic Easter!
By Victoria Goddard