If you’re trying to eat healthier, chances are chocolate is one of the first things you’ll slash from the meal plan. Despite being undeniably delicious, this stuff has a junk food reputation. But it’s not entirely warranted. The truth is that, in moderation, chocolate can be a healthy addition to your diet. And the reasons why may surprise you!
Here are a few of the top benefits of incorporating chocolate into your diet — for your health, of course! Note: Most of the health benefits of chocolate come from the compounds in the cacao bean, which is found in higher concentrations in dark chocolate. Stock the pantry with your favorite dark chocolate bars if you’re looking for a natural way to stay healthy. Choose options that have at least 70 percent cocoa.
1. It Boosts Heart Health — The first thing you need to know about chocolate and your health is that it contains a naturally occurring compound called theobromine, which brings a variety of health benefits. In particular, it can help reduce central systolic blood pressure, which supports heart health and can even lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
2. It Lowers Risk of Diabetes — The antioxidants found in chocolate may also help lower your risk of insulin resistance, which can help your body control blood sugar and prevent the onset of diabetes. In fact, one study showed that people who eat chocolate at least once a week had a lower risk of diabetes several years later. Of course, those with a family history or higher risk factors for diabetes should make sure to eat chocolate in moderation and stick to high cocoa percentage dark chocolate to get all the benefits.
3. It Protects Against Disease — The cocoa bean from which chocolate is made contains a variety of phenolic antioxidant compounds, including flavanols that bring protective effects against degenerative diseases. Antioxidants fight against disease-causing free radicals in the body, which may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
4. It Can Serve as an Anti-Inflammatory — Inflammation is to blame for many of the most frustrating day-to-day ailments, from pain in the joints to swelling, skin issues and even digestive troubles. But eating chocolate may help. The aforementioned flavanols that bring antioxidant effects can also bring some anti-inflammatory ones.
5. It Can Give You an Energy Boost — Have you ever noticed that you temporarily feel a bit more energized after consuming a handful of chocolate? That’s not just a sugar rush. It’s also the natural effects of the antioxidants, caffeine and nutrients from the cacao bean. And you don’t need to eat our coffee truffle chocolate to feel the effects (but, hey, it won’t hurt!). Caffeine is also found in coffee-free chocolate. In fact, an ounce of dark chocolate contains about 12 milligrams of caffeine.
6. It Elevates Your Mood — We know now more than ever that mental and physical health are closely linked, and whatever you can do to boost one will have a significant effect on the other. The good news is that chocolate helps stimulate the production of endorphins and also contains the mood stabilizing hormone serotonin, so it can boost your mood.
7. It Contains Healthy Vitamins and Minerals — Chocolate in its purest form is a 100 percent plant-based food, so it naturally brings with it a few beneficial vitamins and minerals to support your overall health and wellness goals. High-quality chocolate contains magnesium, calcium, iron and potassium as well as a slew of B vitamins.
Make sure you’ve always got some delicious health-boosting chocolate in the pantry to keep on top of your health goals. How long does chocolate last? When stored properly, it’ll last for at least several months.
Everything in Moderation
Chocolate, like most healthy foods, is chock-full of good nutrients and not-so-good ones. In addition to health-boosting compounds, it also contains sugar and fat, which should be consumed in moderation. Our plant-based chocolate is made with high-quality, certified organic ingredients, so you can feel great about every bite. Give the gift of good health and a yummy treat (to yourself, if you want) with our chocolate gift boxes!