Pretty much everyone likes chocolate. But why? Why does it lift our spirits and even make us happy? And is chocolate actually unhealthy? To answer these questions, one has to take a closer look at what Chocolate does in the body.
It doesn’t really fill you up but chocolate tastes good. And it makes you happy. Often we don’t stop at one piece, sometimes it has to be a whole board or even more. And immediately the guilty conscience is there but is chocolate generally unhealthy? It depends on the variety. Dark chocolate with at least 70 or better 80 percent cocoa content can have a positive effect on the body.
Flavanols: the good guys
The flavanols contained in cocoa are responsible for this. They ensure that the blood vessels remain elastic. They are also said to reduce blood pressure slightly.
Compared to lighter types of chocolate, dark bitter chocolate has a higher proportion of flavanols because the cocoa content is higher. The sugar and fat content is higher with lighter varieties of chocolate than with darker ones.
Dark chocolate minimizes the risk of cardiovascular disease
Dark chocolate should be preferred to the lighter ones, from a health point of view. There are scientific findings and studies according to which dark chocolate, especially if it contains nuts, can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Another good thing about snacking on chocolate is that it often contains minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium as well as vitamins. The nutrient table printed on the back of the packaging shows what is in a bar of chocolate which is worth taking a look at when buying chocolate.
Chocolate is the ‘Feel Good’ Food
No matter which chocolate you choose, the psychological effects of snacking on chocolate are enormous. Chocolate lifts the mood, it is a real feel-good meal. The amino acid called tryptophan contained in chocolate is said to be the trigger for the positive effect. It ensures that the happiness hormone serotonin is produced in the body. However, it is questionable whether the quantities contained in chocolate are sufficient to ultimately trigger this feeling of well-being in the brain. The rule of quantity also applies to the ingredient theobromine, which is said to have a similar effect.
According to another theory, it is more likely that eating chocolate is associated with positive memories. You eat them and think more or less consciously of the good, old times, such as a nice childhood situation. In this respect, chocolate is definitely good for the psyche as it can even have antidepressant effects.
Chocolate is a part of a balanced diet
Some eat chocolate every day. Others flatly reject the treat – due to the comparatively high sugar and fat content in certain varieties. But strictly speaking, there is no food that deserves the adjective unhealthy. To say that sugar or fat are bad and that chocolate is taboo is unnatural. Chocolate should also be part of a balanced diet when mixed correctly with other foods.
It is Better to eat Chocolate
Even when you are on a diet, banning chocolate from the menu entirely does not help. The rule is: Less chocolate – Yes, But No chocolate – No. Total abstinence from chocolate only increases the cravings for chocolate. Ultimately, the overall energy balance for one day, which is individually different, has to be right. Eating chocolate is absolutely allowed in moderation and, above all, with pleasure.