There have been numerous research studies conducted revolving around the health benefits of chocolate. And many of them have pointed to some pretty good reasons to occasionally indulge in the go-to favorite of many.
A few years ago, results from research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that a group of surveyed chocolate eaters who reported that they consumed more levels of chocolate had on average a lower body mass index.
Another study concluded that dark chocolate rich in polyphenol can actually enhance sensitivity to insulin and may offset some of the issues that stem from fats in the diet. Polyphenols are mostly found in plants, but dark chocolate provides one of the richest food sources of the chemical components.
Even more than the physical, but an article in the American Chemical Society also reported that dark chocolate can even relieve emotional stress. The findings of this study showed that those who consumed around an ounce and a half of dark chocolate daily for a 2 week period decreased the levels of stress hormones in those who reported significant stress levels.
Other biochemical issues that stemmed from high stress levels in participants were said to also be corrected.
Another recent study from the American Chemical Society has actually uncovered the reason that consuming chocolate can be so beneficial in so many areas of the body.
This particular study looked directly at how dark chocolate interacts with different bacteria that live in the stomach. Researchers from Louisiana State University found that it was because some bacteria that are in the stomach feed on the chocolate and turn it into heart healthy anti-inflammatory compounds.
Polyphenolic compounds, the rich antioxidants that are found in dark chocolate and cocoa, are again found to offer some great qualities.
When microbial compounds and dark chocolate interact, the microbes work to ferment the chocolate and it generates anti-inflammatory compounds. When the body absorbs the compounds it reduces any swelling that is present in the cardiovascular tissue, which can decrease the risk factors associated with strokes.
As if chocoholics needed another reason to eat up.
The American Chemical Society has an online chocolate workshop providing information about basics, research and other useful resources.
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