Ah, chocolates! The delicious dessert that makes almost everyone smile. From the rich, velvety texture to the mouthwatering aroma, there is something about chocolate that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It's no wonder it's one of the most beloved foods in the world!
But let's be real here, there is always an ongoing debate on whether chocolates are good or bad for you. We all know that one person, tells us to steer clear of them, while the other insists that a daily dose of chocolate is essential for a happy life. So, where do we draw the line?
In this blog, we'll take dive into the world of chocolates and try to get to the bottom of this debate.
Pros of Chocolates
Chocolates, particularly dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids, have been associated with several health benefits. Here are some of the potential health benefits of consuming chocolates:
1. Improved Heart Health: Studies suggest that consuming moderate amounts of dark chocolate may help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. The flavonoids in chocolate can help improve blood flow and lower inflammation in the body, both of which are beneficial for heart health.
2. Antioxidant Properties: Antioxidants found in chocolate can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. These antioxidants may help prevent several chronic diseases, including cancer.
3. Mood Enhancement Chocolate: Contains several compounds that can positively impact mood and mental health. For instance, it contains tryptophan, an amino acid that helps the body produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and sleep.
4. Brain Function: Studies suggest that the flavonoids in chocolate may help improve cognitive function and protect against age-related cognitive decline. Additionally, the caffeine and theobromine in chocolate can help improve focus and concentration.
5. Improved Skin Health: The flavonoids in chocolate can also benefit the skin by improving blood flow, hydrating the skin, and protecting against sun damage.
[Also check: Can chocolate binging cause you acne trouble?]
Cons of Chocolates
While chocolate is a beloved treat enjoyed by many, few risks are associated with its consumption. Here are some potential risks of eating chocolate:
1. Weight gain: Chocolate is high in calories, with milk chocolate containing around 150-170 calories per ounce and dark chocolate containing 170-190 calories per ounce. Consuming too much chocolate, particularly the sweet and creamy milk chocolate varieties, can contribute to weight gain over time.
2. Tooth decay: Chocolate is high in sugar, which can stick to teeth and promote the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria produce acid, which can erode tooth enamel and lead to cavities if proper oral hygiene is not maintained.
3. Caffeine sensitivity: Chocolate contains varying amounts of caffeine, with dark chocolate containing the most. While most people can consume chocolate without any adverse effects, some individuals may be more sensitive to caffeine and experience symptoms such as nervousness, jitteriness, and difficulty sleeping.
4. Allergic reactions: Chocolate is made from cocoa beans, which can cause allergic reactions in some people. Those with a history of food allergies should be particularly cautious when consuming chocolate.
5. Interference with medication: Some compounds found in chocolate, such as caffeine and theobromine, can interact with certain medications. They may increase the effects of some antidepressants and MAO inhibitors, leading to potentially dangerous side effects. Individuals taking medications should check with their healthcare provider to see if chocolate consumption may be contraindicated.
Chocolates can be a part of a healthy diet if consumed in moderation. Dark chocolates with high cocoa content are a healthier option as they contain more flavonoids and less sugar. Milk chocolates and white chocolates are higher in sugar and calories and should be consumed in moderation. It's also essential to choose chocolates free from additives and preservatives. So, enjoy your chocolates in moderation and reap the health benefits they offer!