Chocolates cause obesity, tooth decay, and even pimples in the face. But chocoholics have a reason to celebrate, because researches say that dark chocolates have certain health benefits!
The secret? A phytochemical called flavonoids which are found in cocoa. Flavonoids are antioxidants that work against free radicals that damage the cells. In addition, these flavonoids prevent arterial damage and stroke, protecting the body against the inflammation of blood vessels.
Moreover, flavonoids are not the only good things found in chocolates. Another healthy component of chocolates is polyphenol. Polyphenol is an antioxidant agent that protects chocolates from oxidation, extends their shelf-life, and prevents fat-like substances in the bloodstream from oxidizing and clogging the arteries.
Research also indicates that the cacao plant boosts the immune system and restricts the formation of the type of cholesterol which damages the heart. And although no concrete evidence directly links chocolates with the prevention of cancer, the catechins and the polyphenols in chocolates may have dramatic effect against diseases that damages cells.
And would you believe that contrary to popular belief, chocolates may actually help fight tooth decay? This is because they prevent the formation of tooth plaque which eats away the tooth surface. Although sugar in chocolates contributes to cavity formation, researchers believe that the antibacterial agents in cocoa bean its high sugar levels and the cocoa butter in the chocolate coats the teeth, preventing the formation of plaque.
And take note of this: chocolates actually contain four times the amount of flavonoids found in green tea!
The bad effects of chocolates are mostly overstated, if not entirely false. However, the truth that everything taken in excess is bad also applies with chocolates.
So, don’t feel guilty when eating chocolates from time to time. A reasonable amount will surely do you good. So go ahead, open that bar of chocolate and take a mouthful!