When considering healthy living, many people consider eating chocolate to be a cardinal crime. However, there have been numerous studies which have documented the beneficial reasons why indulging in a little chocolate might not be such a bad idea after all.
A study conducted by the English Northumbria University documented that consuming chocolate which has high levels of flavanols can actually help with your counting skills. The study documented thirty participants answers to a variety of math questions and after a hot chocolate drink was consumed the subjects mathematical performance was improved. Study Director David Kennedy concluded that consuming cocoa could help with “mentally demanding things”.
The flavanols in dark chocolate have also been shown to have a number of other health benefits. A study by the Heinrich-Heine University in Germany found that their participants who consumed enriched cocoa daily for three months had more hydrated and smoother skin which was less prone to redness after UV exposure.
Journal of Nutrition findings documented “absolutely encouraging” results which showed that regular consumption of moderate quantities of dark chocolate could produce “significantly lower levels of C-reactive protein” in blood which can reduce the risk of heart related issues. Dark chocolate has also been theorized that it may help increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin which could reduce the risk of developing conditions such as diabetes.
Chocolate may also have cosmetic benefits such as helping to create healthy looking, shiny hair. A homemade conditioning mask made from unsweetened chocolate, yogurt and honey can enrich the hair and make it look and feel shinier.
There are numerous studies documenting beneficial effects of chocolate, but it is important to remember that many of the benefits are attributed to flavanols. These are found in high quantities in good quality dark chocolate, so you are unlikely to experience any of these benefits with just any old candy bar. While we all may enjoy a little chocolate indulgence, remember if you want to keep it healthy, stick to dark, flavanol rich chocolate.