Chocolate is a delicious treat that can be enjoyed by almost everyone. But, did you know that chocolate can also be good for your health? The cocoa bean has many health benefits, and research shows that chocolate has benefits like boosting mood, increasing blood flow and even reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Chocolate makes you happy. Chocolate contains theobromine, which produces a feel-good chemical in your brain called serotonin. Serotonin can boost your mood and make you happier. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), a naturally occurring stimulant that triggers feelings of excitement and euphoria. This feel-good chemical is released when you fall in love or experience something thrilling or shocking — like eating chocolate!
- Chocolate boosts heart health. Chocolate contains flavonoids, which are compounds that help keep your heart healthy by lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow. They also reduce inflammation throughout your body and help prevent blood clots.
- Chocolate helps lower bad cholesterol levels and raise good cholesterol levels in the body, which helps prevent heart disease and stroke.
- Chocolate contains magnesium, which helps relax blood vessels and muscles throughout the body — especially in people with high blood pressure or muscle cramps — as well as calcium and potassium, which are important minerals that maintain bone strength and reduce high blood pressure.
- It boosts your brain power. Chocolate is rich in minerals such as magnesium and iron (particularly dark chocolate), which are essential for keeping your brain sharp and healthy as you age. Studies have shown that chocolate also contains caffeine and phenethylamine (PEA), which both increase levels of dopamine in the brain – a neurotransmitter linked to feelings of pleasure and focus. This means that eating chocolate can help improve concentration, memory and overall brain function.