Researchers have scientifically disproven the old belief that eating chocolate is fattening, as their new study has shown that higher consumption of chocolate is associated with lower levels of total fat (fat deposited all over the body) and central fat (abdominal), independently of whether or not the individual participates in regular physical activity and of diet, among other factors.
According to an article from the American Chemical Society' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the naturally occurring polyphenols in cocoa - the key ingredient in chocolate - boost levels of HDL, commonly known as the "good cholesterol."
Chocolate contains a number of chemicals that inhibit the breakdown of the neurotransmitter anandamide — sometimes called “the molecule of bliss” — which can block feelings of pain and depression.
A new research has revealed that there are powerful components in dark chocolate, which can ward off diabetes. Scientists have found that “superfoods”, such as dark chocolate, red wine, tea and berries that are rich in flavanoids, offer protection from Type 2 diabetes
Dark chocolate is good for your heart. Researchers have said that certain bacteria in the stomach gobble the chocolate and ferment it into anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for the heart. Dark chocolate helps restore flexibility to arteries while also preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of blood vessels. Both arterial stiffness and white blood cell adhesion are known factors that play a significant role in atherosclerosis. The scientists also found that increasing the flavanol content of dark chocolate did not change this effect.
Aedin Cassidy, the lead researcher from University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School, said that their research looked at the benefits of eating certain sub-groups of flavanoids. The study also found that these bioactive compounds lower inflammation associated with diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, stimulants that can provide a burst of energy.
The research, conducted on almost 2,000 people, showed that high intakes of flavanoids are associated with lower insulin resistance and better blood glucose regulation. According to the study, this compound is found in plant-based foods, and that onions, apples, berries, kale, and broccoli have the highest concentrations of flavanoids.
An Indian chocolatier, based in London, has brought out chocolates that can contain as little as 20 calories a bar. According to news reports, Aneesh Popat’s recipe doesn’t have high-calorie ingredients like butter, cream and eggs instead he combines flavour-infused water with cocoa to create The Chocolatier
Another research by researchers at Harvard University has suggested that eating chocolate may help you live longer. The team, which conducted the study for 65 years and studied 8000 men, found that those who ate modest amounts of chocolate up to three times a month lived almost a year longer than those who ate none.