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7 good reasons to eat chocolate

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Considered by many to be the tastiest food, dark chocolate also offers many benefits. However, avoid abusing it because it is still a product rich in sugar and fat.

1. It is rich in antioxidants

Dark chocolate contains good amounts of flavonoids, antioxidant substances found in red wine as well as many fruits and vegetables, and which fight diseases. In fact, it seems to contain more flavonoids than any other food.

2. It can relieve the symptoms of PMS

“The cravings of chocolate that take us at this time of the month are easily explained,” says Nathalie Lussier, a specialist in Toronto crudivorism. “Chocolate releases endorphins, which calm anxiety. In addition, it is rich in magnesium, “a mineral that has a positive effect on mood and prevents water retention. However, excess sugar, salt and caffeine can have the opposite effect, causing bloating and water retention (not to mention weight gain). Therefore, try one of these recipes to get your dose of chocolate in a healthy way:

3. It could lower cholesterol

In a small study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaing, it was discovered that consuming dark chocolate lowers cholesterol and improves blood pressure.

Although the study was funded by chocolate manufacturer Mars Inc., it was double-blinded and reviewed by experts.

4. It could prevent complications of pregnancy

The results of a new study indicate that theobromine, a chemical found in chocolate, may reduce the risk of eclampsia, a major complication of pregnancy. The darker the chocolate, the better it is.

Eclampsism (symptoms preceding eclampsia) has the effect of raising blood pressure in pregnant women; chocolate consumption could reduce this risk by 69%. The study of 2,300 women found that those who benefited the most from eating three to five servings a week, particularly during their third trimester.

Despite these findings, the researchers believe that more research is needed to establish a direct link between chocolate consumption and reduced risk of eclampsism.

5. It helps prevent heart disease

It has been shown in a recent study that regular consumption of 70% chocolate, at a rate of about 20 g per day, improves blood circulation, compared to what was observed in subjects taking chocolate products. poor in cocoa. It seems that the positive effects of dark chocolate are related to the property of its polyphenols to release nitric oxide, a chemical messenger that increases the dilation of the arteries while improving blood supply and decreasing platelet aggregation. .

It should be noted, however, that other studies have indicated that milk prevents the absorption of polyphenols contained in dark chocolate, thereby neutralizing its beneficial effects. Milk contains large amounts of casein, a protein that interacts with polyphenols and prevents their absorption by the intestines. It is therefore better to take pure dark chocolate and avoid drinking milk at the same time.

Richard Béliveau and Denis Gingras, doctoral graduates and authors of Health for the pleasure of eating well.

6. It could improve the condition of your skin

Researchers at Heinrich Heine University (Germany) exposed chocolate consumers to ultraviolet radiation and found, after six weeks, that their skin was less red (15% decrease) than those who did not. did not eat it. “We think some of the chocolate compounds act as UV filters,” says Wilhelm Stahl, chief research scientist. After 12 weeks, the skin of the same subjects was denser (16%) and less peeled (42%) than the others. As for the so-called risk that chocolate causes acne, researchers at Newcastle University (Australia) reviewed the studies on this topic and found nothing to suggest that it could trigger this. kind of problem.

7. It could relieve the pain

The results of a recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience indicate that rats do not react so quickly to pain when they consume chocolate. This is not a reason, however, for abusing your favorite chocolates, study researchers concluding their article on a warning: increase its consumption of chocolate to contribute to obesity. It is therefore important to show moderation. Notably, the researchers found in this study that water also relieved pain.

Dr. Monika Mathur

Ph.D Yale University

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