Science Finds Serious Health Benefits in Chocolate, So You Should Probably Go Eat Some Chocolate
Studies on chocolate conducted during the last couple of years have concluded some pretty wonderful things about one of our favorite desserts. Let’s take a look at a few findings:
1. Chocolate is good for your heart.
According to new research, bacteria in the stomach breaks down dark chocolate into anti-inflammatory compounds beneficial to your heart. “When these compounds are absorbed by the body, they lessen the inflammation of cardiovascular tissue, reducing the long-term risk of stroke,” said head researcher John Finley.
2. Chocolate may lower body mass.
A 2012 study found that people who eat chocolate several times a week are actually leaner than those who don’t. This suggests that not all calories are the same: The fat in chocolate may exit our bodies before it has a chance to be absorbed.
3. Chocolate may lower blood pressure.
A review from a science-based group that analyzes health claims found that compounds in cocoa called flavanols may help reduce blood pressure. Researcher Karin Ried of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine says that flavanol-rich cocoa may “complement other treatment options and might contribute to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.”
While this doesn’t mean we should gorge on chocolate and expect to get healthier, it does indicate that, in moderation, chocolate might be less of a guilty pleasure than we thought—containing beneficial compounds that can complement a balanced diet.
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