Chocolate sales will increase sharply on Valentine’s Day since lovers greatly prefer the confectionary made of cacao beans as the ideal gift on the day. People love chocolates because it contains stimulants that make us feel positive, energised and romantic. We share five notable benefits of consuming chocolates, below.
Chocolates contain anandamide, which as one might guess, comes from the Sanskrit word “ananda”, meaning happiness, joy and delight. Chocolates also contain the chemical compound phenylethylamine (PEA), which is said to enhance our feelings of love. Caffeine in chocolates also acts as a stimulant and provides the same energising effect as coffee, since both are made from cacao beans.
Studies have found evidence that Polyphenols contained in cocoa used to prepare chocolates can reduce stress. Both dark chocolate and milk chocolate contain such polyphenols. Stress is said to signal an increase in oxidative damage to our systems. The antioxidants in chocolate neutralise this oxidative damage caused by free radicals and reduce our stress. Dark chocolates contain greater flavanol levels than milk chocolates. Also, flavonoid absorption might be inhibited by milk proteins.
Beneficial for the brain
Chocolate contains flavanols, which are antioxidant molecules that help in the optimisation of our brain’s functions and potential. Flavonols protect the neurons in the brain and increase our cognitive abilities concerning memory and learning. In the elderly, chocolate also protects against degeneration of mental abilities and reduces the chances of acquiring Alzheimer’s disease.
Protects the heart
As per research, consumption of dark chocolate, in particular, has been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) such as coronary heart disease and stroke. Chocolate lowers high blood pressure, which otherwise raises the possibility of coronary heart disease in which the arteries become narrow, plaque accumulation increases and raises the possibility of heart attacks. Dark chocolate keeps our blood vessels dilated and aids in normal blood flow.
Protects the kidneys
Dark chocolate was found to have protective effects on our kidneys. The flavanols in dark chocolate help maintain proper renal tissue oxygenation which is essential for the functioning of the kidneys.