Its trueeating chocolate, especially dark, has health benefits. But, can it prevent heart disease, fight cancer cells and also be considered a sunscreen?
Yes, it can! A recent study from a German research company discovered women who drank hot cocoa, which is high in flavanol anti-oxidants, daily for three months had a 25% decrease in redness after UV irradiation. Their skin was less scaly and more moist than the women drinking low-flavanol cocoa.
Flavanols, which is a photochemical found chocolate, fruits and vegetables, can boost the levels of nitric oxide in blood vessel functioning which affects the heart. Dark chocolate contains high amounts of flavanol.
A recent study by Hollands National Institute of Public Health and Environment found that dark chocolate contains 53.5 mg of catechins per 100 grams. The anti-oxidants in catechins are powerful enough to fight off cancer causing cells and help prevent heart disease.
FYI: Drinking green tea also contains high amounts of catechins, which again, help fight off cancer cells and prevent heart disease.
Be aware, though, that chocolate does contain high amounts of sugar and saturated fats which mean you may want to eat it in moderation. The average candy bar is 250 calories.
What I do is buy a large, dark chocolate candy bar (the more expensive brand the better) and break off a couple of squares a day to eat. I let it melt in my mouth which allows me to savor the flavor and satisfies me longer. This way I can enjoy it without too many extra calories while receiving all the health benefits.
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