The Forest Scout

The Health Benefits of: Chocolate

Kylie Murray

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Chocolate is a savory treat that can be enjoyed at any time in the day. Indulging in chocolate can cure a sweet craving or simply put you in a better mood. However, chocolate is often times given a bad reputations when it comes to eating healthy. Many people think eating a piece of chocolate would be cheating on a diet or have adverse health effects. But, recent studies have discovered some health benefits that chocolate provides, opening up doors to a sweet and relatively healthy treat. However, it is important to keep in mind that not all chocolate is created equal; looking at chocolate labels can help to determine whether it does reap health benefits. That being said, treating yourself to some chocolate is definitely a health message we can get behind. Here are a few benefits chocolate has on your health.

Boosts heart health

Those who regularly eat chocolate welcome a host of benefits for their heart, including lower blood pressure, lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and a lower risk of heart disease. Dark chocolate is especially heart healthy due to its inflammation-fighting properties, which reduce cardiovascular risk.

Improves blood flow

Cocoa has anti clotting and blood thinning properties that work in a similar way to aspirin, which can in turn improve blood flow and circulation. Chocolate has also been found to improve brain function. This is because of the increased blood flow to the brain after consuming dark chocolate.

Powerful Source of antioxidants

Next time you step out in the sun be sure to snack up on some dark chocolate. The type of antioxidants called flavonoids found in dark chocolate offer some protection from UV damage from the sun. It has also been found that dark chocolate contains more antioxidants that apples. Antioxidants can help your body fight free radicals and can protect you from a number of diseases.

 

All in all, chocolate has been shown to have health benefits, but like any food it is important to eat it in moderation. The labels on chocolate bars can help you decide if it is a healthy option. In the end, choosing what you eat is up to you. Knowing a sweet treat like chocolate does provide heart, skin and brain function benefits makes eating it that much more satisfying.

About the Writer
Kylie Murray, Author

Kylie Murray is a senior at LFHS who plays varsity soccer. She enjoys flying, snowboarding and all things outdoors.

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