Is Chocolate Your Guilty Pleasure? Think Again
Is your relationship with chocolate going downhill? Do you feel guilty about craving chocolate as it could add quite a bit of caloric content to your diet? You need to get your facts right to stop making it a taboo.
It is generally believed that chocolate lovers may tend to develop unhealthy eating behaviours and greater dissatisfaction with their body image. These often result in unsuccessful short- or long-term weight maintenance and reduced quality of life, leaving them with feelings of helplessness and loss of control. Moreover, when you label any food ‘off-limits’, you tend to have intense cravings for that food and would feel guilty when you eventually eat it.
Building a healthy relationship with food, especially chocolate, is important for both your mind and the body. When you are mindful of when and why you are eating chocolate, it helps you enjoy it in moderation and without guilt.
A Square of White or Dark Chocolate: Which One is Better?
Too many calories are the root cause of too much weight or other negative effects and white chocolate has higher caloric content than dark and milk chocolates. Most of the benefits of chocolate are linked to those with at least 70% cocoa content. Research indicates that chocolate with higher cocoa content contains more beneficial flavonols that provide numerous health benefits. There is no exact recommendation of how much dark chocolate should be consumed. However, experts say an ounce of minimally dark chocolate with at least 70% of cocoa content as an occasional treat can help achieve its physical and mental health benefits.
Why Should You Have a Healthy Relationship with Chocolate?
Developing a balanced and healthy relationship with food, especially with dark chocolate, is considered a key to improved quality of life. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and a flavonol called epicatechin that offer a myriad of health benefits. Let’s learn about some of these health benefits.
- Improves Cognitive Function: Dark chocolate or cocoa extracts, which are high in flavonols, greatly improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of memory loss in older people. It also fights against inflammation and is found to be beneficial in treating brain injuries including concussions.
- Boosts Heart Health:A few servings of chocolate a week reduces the risk of getting a heart attack and stroke according to several studies. The flavonoids and antioxidants in dark chocolate can help your veins and arteries stay supple, which reduces the risk of clotting and improves blood circulation to the heart.
- Reduces Stress:Studies showed that the consumption of chocolate is associated with reduced levels of the stress hormone – cortisol. This may also be linked to the heart health benefits of chocolate, as stress is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, it contains phenylethylamine that encourages your brain to release endorphins which help in improving mental health and preventing depression.
Cocoa Melts offers a wide range of chocolates that will not only satiate your sweet tooth but also help you build a healthy relationship with chocolate for long-term health goals.