Diet & Nutrition Last updated on 2021-02-26 20:39:20
Chocolate: A Healthy Snack For Your ‘Hangry’ Times
- Dr. Sreelekha Daruvuri
- 2 Min Read
Chocolate has been around for more than 2,000 years. It was first enjoyed by the Aztecs as a beverage and favoured by royalty. Till date, chocolate has been one of our favourites. Let’s know a little more about how good or bad it is doing to our health.
What is chocolate made of?Usual contents of all chocolates are sugar, cocoa butter, full cream milk powder, cocoa liquor, lecithin, vanilla and cocoa. Chocolate comes in milk, dark and white varieties. The nutritional contents and ingredients vary slightly by type. While light or milk chocolates are rich in protein and calcium, dark chocolates are rich in iron content, fibre and antioxidants. Some prominent health benefits of chocolates are:
Good for your heartThe inflammation properties of chocolate lower the risk of cardiometabolic disorders, strokes and levels blood pressure.
Helps in weight lossDark chocolates are especially rich in fibre that lessens cravings and cholesterol level for sweet, salty and fatty foods.
Improves intelligenceKeeps the brain healthy by reducing memory loss, improving alertness, analytical skills and performance.
Relieves coughSoothes the throat due to the presence of theobromine, which is commonly used in many cough syrups.
May help fight diabetesFlavonoids increase nitric oxide production, which stimulates the hormone that lowers blood sugar, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes.
Good for your skinAntioxidants, present in high quantity in dark chocolates, offers protection from UV damages and reddening effects.
Boosts your moodReduces stress hormone levels and the partially mitigates metabolic effects of stress. Now you know how to satisfy your sweet tooth and indulge in a stress-free, guilt-free choco-love. Also, putting it out here, just in-case you encounter a breakup, break out a dark chocolate bar rather than a pint of ice cream. However, it is important to limit the consumption of chocolates and check the sugar and fat content while buying your flavours. The high sugar content of most chocolate not only increases weight and fat but also can be a cause of tooth decay. Some cocoa powders, chocolate bars, and cacao nibs may contain high levels of cadmium and lead, which are toxic to the kidneys, bones, and other body tissues. If you have any diet-related issues or food queries, it is best that you consult a dietitian. To conclude, chocolate has many health benefits and can be your guilt-free snack, but nothing in excess is good for health.
Consult a Dietitian
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