What does chocolate mean to you? A favorite treat that is impossible to refuse, or a sweet that is incompatible with a healthy lifestyle? Do you like eating it daily while betting via your 20Bet login or watching movies? Or is this just an unregulated snack? Scientists around the world are studying the harms and benefits of bitter chocolate. We looked at existing studies to tell you about the properties of chocolate, as well as how much of it you can eat without harming your health.
What Are the Benefits of Dark Chocolate?
One of the most essential advantages is that it effectively dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.
Moreover, it has an antioxidant effect. It reduces the level of cholesterol and other atherogenic lipoproteins, helps reduce the risk of heart attack, angina and stroke.
It’s also believed that cocoa slows the growth of cancer cells, but the exact anti-tumor mechanisms are poorly understood. Earlier studies have shown that excessive consumption of chocolate, on the other hand, can increase the risk of colon and breast cancer. So the question will be studied further.
Cocoa affects immune cells involved in both innate and acquired immunity. Consumption of dark chocolate has been found to have anti-inflammatory effects (here we are no longer just talking about the gut, but about immune reactions throughout the body).
Flavonoids have been noted to have a positive effect on platelet function, reducing the risk of blood clots.
In people with high levels of anxiety, chocolate in experiments decreased the synthesis of stress mediators, i.e. it had a calming effect. At the same time, no similar changes were observed in a calm mental state.
Caffeine is another component of cocoa products. Like any psychostimulant, it reduces sleepiness, which in some situations is also useful.
How Is Bitter Chocolate Harmful?
It has been suggested that chocolate can cause allergies. But it’s more likely to cause reactions that are food intolerances rather than allergies. The difference is that with an allergy to cocoa products, there will be symptoms even at the lowest dose. A food intolerance, on the other hand, depends on the amount: for example, one or two pieces of chocolate won’t cause anything, but eating a whole bar may cause a rash or abdominal discomfort. Food intolerance can manifest itself in different clinical symptoms, not necessarily only a rash on the skin. For example, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, headaches, asthmatic cough and diarrhea.
There is an opinion that chocolate can provoke heartburn by increasing gastroesophageal reflux. So, cocoa products are contraindicated for people suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease. However, this has not been proven in clinical trials. So, it’s necessary to give up chocolate only if there is a clear connection with the occurrence of heartburn in a particular person.
There is a theory that chocolate can be a trigger for a migraine attack, but not all studies have been able to prove this. Caffeine can both relieve and aggravate a headache, depending on its cause. If a migraine is repeatedly triggered by chocolate, it makes sense to give it up.
Moreover, regular consumption of chocolate can aggravate acne in people who are prone to this skin condition.
Bitter Chocolate and Weight Loss
Recently, the preventive and therapeutic effects of cocoa and its components against obesity and metabolic syndrome have been actively studied. Studies have concluded that the flavonols in chocolate, the main type of flavonoids found in chocolate, prevent fat deposition, which in itself prevents the development of obesity. However, we should not forget that the daily rate of bitter chocolate recommended by nutritionists – no more than 30 grams. The conclusion suggests itself: it’s possible to eat bitter chocolate for those who want to lose weight, but on the condition that you do not exceed the dose recommended by nutritionists.
Bitter chocolate is not the only source of flavonoids. For example, they are found in blueberries, blueberries, green tea, cranberries, apples, peanuts, onions, red peppers, and broccoli.