How Chocolate Benefits Health
This article is about How Chocolate Benefits Health. Not so long ago we knew exactly how chocolate benefits health – it didn’t. But thinking moves on and maybe chocolate is not as bad as we thought. Researchers at the University of Cambridge found that people eating higher than two chocolate bars a week had a 37 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 29 percent reduction in strokes compared with those eating less than two chocolate bars a week.
It appears likely that this is the result of chocolate decreasing blood pressure. Like much research it raises as many questions as it answers. Will three chocolate bars a week give less protection than (heaven forbid) three chocolate bars a day?
It does seem, however, that there are good reasons to eat chocolate. More research – this time from the National Institute of Public Health and Environment in Holland – has found that catechins, chemicals that can protect against cancer and heart disease, are present in dark chocolate. Catechins are also found in tea, so it is suggested that we have a daily cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit. Something I have always considered a horrible combination, but there are those who enjoy such things and good luck to them.
There are other ways that chocolate benefits health. It can make you more alert due to theobromine which is similar to caffeine without causing the caffeine high you get from coffee. It contains iron, magnesium and, in the case of milk chocolate, calcium. So now we know – chocolate is the new miracle diet and we should all live on chocolate. Rejoice.
Sadly, as with most things, there is a down side. Perhaps it is a good idea to have an occasional bar of chocolate, even three a week. But consider the calories. A bar of chocolate contains on average 250 calories. To burn this off you will need to walk at 3 miles an hour for just under 60 minutes. You can do that, of course you can – it’s worth it. But it gets worse. Have you forgotten you ate the bar of chocolate on top of your usual meal and that we are advised to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day to help burn off the calories in that meal?
Now you must walk for 90 minutes to burn off those calories. It becomes more of a challenge. You could eat 250 calories less in your main meals to accommodate the chocolate, but you probably won’t. Which explains why people who eat chocolate get fat.
There’s nothing wrong with chocolate, we have seen how chocolate benefits health. The problem is the calories, something which most of us knew already. I suppose we could always try to love a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit.