Did you know, good quality chocolate (the stuff with minimal sugar, toxic oils and a high percentage of cacao) can actually be beneficial for gut bacteria? Chocolate, once thought of as a food of the gods, actually has a range of health benefits.
- Chocolate acts as a probiotic
Good quality dark chocolate can help stimulate the natural digestive juices and enzymes that keep our digestive organs functioning properly. Interestingly, the benefits are greatest when the chocolate is eaten before the meal!
- It can help reduce inflammation
AI diseases are characterised by inflammation. Chocolate has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce and even prevent our body’s inflammatory responses. Epicatechin and other flavanols found in cacao inhibit the actions of leukotrienes, the body’s inflammatory messengers.
- Chocolate as an antidepressant
You know that happy feeling you get when you eat chocolate? That’s actually the chocolate stimulating the release of the feel good chemicals serotonin, dopamine and phenylethylamine. Cacao beans also contain the amino acid tryptophan and monoamine oxidase inhibitors which allow serotonin and dopamine to circulate in the bloodstream longer. It is this effect that helps alleviate depression and promote feelings of wellbeing.
- Eating chocolate can prevent weight gain
Yes, you read that right, eating chocolate can help prevent weight gain! The antioxidant oligomeric procyandins found in cacao effectively improves our body’s glucose tolerance, lowering blood sugar levels and preventing weight gain.
- Chocolate as a stress buster
A study recently found that dark chocolate can dull the body’s reaction to the brain’s stress signals. In particular, the response of the adrenal gland and its production of cortisol, was significantly less in the participants who consumed dark chocolate before being placed in the stressful situation.
Good quality dark chocolate is also beneficial at reducing blood pressure, your risk of stroke and heart disease and can protect your nervous system and cells from damage.
And that is why, here at Healed by Bacon, we like to have a piece of dark chocolate with every meal!