Chocolate proves surprisingly beneficial

Photo+credit%3A+Wikimedia+Commons
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Chocolate proves surprisingly beneficial

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Don’t feel too bad after eating that chocolate. Chocolate, like many things, is good and even has health benefits in moderation.

Chocolate may reduce the risk of stroke. It is also known to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. Dark chocolate contains inflammation-fighting properties, which lowers the risk of cardiovascular problems.

Chocolate can also increase insulin sensitivity which reduces the risk of diabetes.

Junk food may have a reputation for causing skin outbreaks, such as acne, but dark chocolate can actually be good for skin in some aspects. While too much of it may lead to breakouts, antioxidants called flavonoids present in dark chocolate can protect the skin from UV damage. However, it is not a replacement for sunscreen.

Chocolate can lessen and quiet coughs. An ingredient called theobromine present in chocolate appears to reduce activity in the part of the brain that causes especially difficult coughs.

Cocoa contains blood thinning and anti-clotting properties that can improve blood flow and circulation.

Because of its ability to improve blood flow to the brain, chocolate has been thought to improve eyesight when blood flow is increased to the retina, giving one a vision boost. The cleared blood flow to the brain can also cause people to feel more awake and alert.

Chocolate also makes a good snack. Despite the stigma surrounding it, having chocolate as one’s first go-to snack can fill up consumers, which consequently causes them to eat less. This is why it is a good idea to eat it before other snacks so that several other snacks will not be consumed before finally feeling satisfied after eating chocolate.

And of course, as one would think, chocolate is a mood booster. Indulging one’s sweet tooth can be a real treat. It can also help reduce stress.

Chocolate is helpful in different forms. For example, chocolate milk can help a great deal with nutrition recovery, the span of time when an athlete needs to recover energy after a vigorous workout or activity. Drinking chocolate milk after a workout or a game can greatly help the recovery process.

Chocolate milk provides vitamins, fluids and electrolytes for hydration, a protein source for muscle repair and a carbohydrate source to replenish energy storage.

After a workout, it may be easier for some athletes to ingest a beverage instead of food. It is faster and easier and sometimes goes down more easily than food, which is an athlete’s prime time to acquire protein in order to optimize nutrition recovery.

Chocolate milk can also boost calcium and vitamin D levels, which, in turn, strengthens bones and bone strength.

If an athlete is lactose intolerant, there are alternatives to cow’s milk. Soy and almond chocolate milk will also work.

However, since cow’s milk offers more protein than both, a handful of nuts can also be eaten alongside the milk.