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Know the benefits of chocolate for your health

Know the benefits of chocolate for your health

The texture, aroma, flavor and ability of chocolate to melt gently in the mouth snatches the senses, awakens the body and provokes emotional sensations. Ecstasy is absolute, with an unparalleled advantage: it is not an illicit substance although it is true that there are addicts who do not give up one (or several) bars daily chocolate.

If at the end of the week, this delicacy gains a free pass in your diet for reasons of force majeure, it is worth keeping an eye out for its benefits to justify eating in your daily life. Since, of course, you praised for moderation, after all the tastiest blend of milk and cocoa on the planet is rich in sugar and fat, so full of calories.

Sweet life

Everything around you improves after one good brown tablet?

It's not self-suggestion, you can stay calm. Chemically, chocolate has important stimulant components: caffeine, which disrupts the action of adenosine in the brain, a substance responsible for slowing the activity of neurons. That is, it causes excitement instead of calming.


And it also has an alkaloid called theobromine, which potentiates the effect of caffeine. "Theobromine, unlike caffeine, does not stimulate the central nervous system, and its effects are primarily diuretic (foods stand out for this type of effect, know some)," explains nutritionist Fabiana Honda, Nutrition Consultant Patrícia Bertolucci, from

To complete the stirring mix, it also has doses of phenylethylamine, a natural compound with amphetamine-like effects. This ingredient is pointed out as the villain for the compulsion to sweet. "Research supposes that cholecathists are people with problems in the regulation mechanism of phenylethylamine in the body," says Fabiana. This is because the substance stimulates the pleasure centers of the gray matter, hence the will to never stop eating.

The feeling of well-being finds support in the action of endorphin and dopamine. Scientists say that chocolate is able to increase the production of this double substance that has to do with relaxation. Here is one more reason why women are the main consumers of the candy, especially in periods of ill-fated PMS. To placate the irritation, the female team attacks the candy (see here how to placate PMS once).

One of the explanations is the drop in blood magnesium in this period. It gives you appeal to the magic bar of cocoa to replenish the nutrient, important in the balance of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that controls the mood. But you do not have to eat a box of chocolates to make you feel happier. "The World Health Organization recommends not to extrapolate the 30 grams per day limit," explains Fabiana Honda.

Preventive Diet

The good side of this temptation does not stop there. A small piece of black chocolate per day improves arterial flow and benefits vascular health. In a report presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Cardiology in Chicago, scientists have stated that dark chocolate, in small amounts, can reduce the risk of a heart attack by decreasing the tendency of platelet clotting and blood vessel obstruction.

These same effects were not observed in relation to white chocolate, basically composed of fat of the most conservative, nor even the bar albina.

The nervous system also comes out in profit every good bite. "The flavonoids, antioxidants found in cocoa beans, have the power to increase blood flow in the brain and make it work better," explains the nutritionist from São Paulo.


the bitter?

Bet on the last one. Research has shown that it can serve as a protective shield against free radicals, the molecules responsible for cell degeneration.The milk version contains more fat and less flavonoid content. In addition, the milk itself impairs the action of these antioxidants. These substances help in preventing cardiovascular disease and in lowering LDL, bad cholesterol, says Fabiana. (Understand the difference between good and bad cholesterol.)

It is also important to take care that the nutritional properties of chocolate do not turn into enemies. Knowing how to choose the best chocolate is essential.

Escape from products that abuse hydrogenated fat to replace cocoa, check the proportions on the label. And, if you eat after a long period of fasting, you may want to consume chocolate right after your meal (after lunch, for example) because it is a high-glycemic food. , it is readily converted to glucose and absorbed more quickly, sparking hunger shortly afterwards, says Fabiana Honda.

Calories in a portion of 30g (one small tablet)

White chocolate:

160 Kcal

Milk chocolate:

170.4 Kcal

Bitter chocolate: 161 Kcal

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