Four ways that cocoa can supercharge your health

You may not know it, but cocoa makes other so-called superfoods pale in comparison. That’s pretty sweet if you ask me!

Offering your health a titan of benefits, raw cocoa can supercharge your health in many different ways! Here are some top health benefits of cocoa.

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Four health benefits of cocoa

#1: Cocoa can save your skin

Dealing with problem skin? No problem – cocoa can help! Brimming with antioxidants that are fantastic for repairing skin cells and neutralising harmful free radicals, cocoa is suitable for treating just about any skin issue, according to dermatologist Ava Shamban.

#2: Cocoa crushes sugar cravings

Pass up on the sweet treats and take a whiff of cocoa instead. Cocoa powder has a rich, seriously indulgent aroma, so you’ll often be satisfied by simply smelling it, says founder of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation Alan Hirsch.

#3: Cocoa promotes heart health

Cocoa is fantastic for treating your ticker. The flavonoids in cocoa are linked to a number of cardio perks, from reducing LDL or “bad” cholesterol, to lowering blood pressure, according to director of Women and Heart Disease at Lenox Hill Hospital Suzanne Steinbaum.

#4: Cocoa enhances your mood

Cocoa can make more than just your taste buds happy … it can make you happy, too! Containing more than 300 compounds, many of which enhance your brain chemistry, cocoa powder is the ultimate mood-booster, explains author of Eat Your Way to Happiness Elizabeth Somer. Some of these compounds boost your serotonin and endorphin levels, both of which generate a happy mood.

With all these amazing benefits, I don’t know about you, but I’ll sure be enjoying many mugs of hot cocoa this winter!

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Keep your heart healthy by eating milk chocolate every day

Good news, chocolate lovers! The new time you find yourself indulging in a slab of milk chocolate, you won’t have to feel so guilty…

 

According to a new British study, eating milk chocolate regularly can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.

 

In the study, published in the journal Heart, middle-aged adults who ate as much as 100 g of milk chocolate a day seemed to receive heart health benefits. Read on to find out more.

 

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Eating milk chocolate could promote cardiovascular health, researchers say

“People who want to eat chocolate shouldn’t be worried too much about their cardiovascular health,” said study co-author Dr Phyo Myint, chair of medicine of old age at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

“We didn’t find any harmful effects of chocolate, if they want to enjoy chocolate now and again. The key is moderation.”

But while this study uncovered a link between chocolate and heart health, it didn’t prove cause and effect.

Participants who ate milk chocolate every day had a lower risk of heart attack and stroke

The research team based its findings on almost 21,000 adults taking part in a study that’s tracking the impact of diet on the long-term health of 25,000 men and women in Norfolk, England.

The team monitored the participants for nearly 12 years, on average, during which time 14% of them fell ill with either heart disease or stroke.

Researchers found that people who ate milk chocolate every day – up to 100 g – had a 14% lower risk of heart disease a 23% lower risk of stroke compared to those who ate no chocolate.

But what’s in milk chocolate that could provide benefits for your heart?

The team explained that chocolate contains large quantities of flavonoids – organic compounds thought to have anti-inflammatory properties that could ward off heart disease.

Other ingredients in a bar of milk chocolate that could be good for your health include milk, nuts and fatty acids, Myint said.

But I’m about to burst your bubble now: You can’t go ahead and rely solely on chocolate to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. The team stressed that it’s important to include it as part of an overall balanced, heart-healthy diet to reap the benefit.