Everyone loves chocolate, and there is a good reason for you to eat it more often. According to scientists, chocolate improves cognitive function and prevents memory loss. Some say it has the power to prevent cancer. Latest reports released in the British Journal of Nutrition say eating chocolate can improve your health.
Chocolate and insulin resistance
A group of researchers of the University of Warwick compared the data from 1,153 people aged between 18 and 69 as part of the Observation of Cardiovascular Risk in Luxembourg study. It was the first nationwide research on heart disease risk factors. Researchers found that those who eat 100 grams of chocolate (1 bar) every day have lower insulin resistance than those who do not. Their liver enzymes were improved, too.
About 80 percent of the participant in this study who ate an average of 24.8 grams of chocolate every day had youthful appearance, and were more active and educated than those who do not like eating chocolate every day.
“Given the growing body of evidence, including our own study, cocoa-based products may represent an additional dietary recommendation to improve cardio-metabolic health,” explained lead study author Saverio Stranges.
These findings are important for health experts as they can encourage people to eat foods packed in polyphenols. This metabolite gives chocolate its incredible nutritional profile. This antioxidant prevents degenerative and cardiovascular diseases. You can get polyphenols from coffee, tea, flax seeds, cloves, chestnuts, etc.
Choose healthy chocolate
Not every chocolate is good for you. If you use chocolate as a primary source of antioxidants, try to make a difference between natural cocoa and processed forms of chocolate. Dark chocolate does not contain as much sugar as milk chocolate, and it has four times the fiber than your regular chocolate bar, as reported by Prevention. People have to pay attention to their physical activity and eating habits to balance the amount of chocolate in order to prevent obesity.
“It is also possible that chocolate consumption may represent an overall marker for a cluster of favorable socio-demographic profiles, healthier lifestyle behaviors, and better health status,” noted principal investigator Ala’a Alkerwi. “This could explain, at least in part, the observed inverse associations with insulin and liver biomarkers.”
Statistics shows that more than 610,000 Americans die of heart disease every year, and it is determined as the leading cause of death. Chocolate reduces insulin resistance which is a major underlying cause of heart disease. Unfortunately, sufferers overlook it as they are more focused on obesity and other contributing factors.
Scientists have to do more research on the effect of chocolate on insulin resistance and liver enzymes.
Here is how to make your own chocolate:
Homemade chocolate bar
Serves 1 or 20, depending on your needs
- 1 cup raw cacao
- ¼ cup 100% organic maple syrup
- ½ cup organic, cold-pressed coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp sea salt
A handful of chopped almonds (optional)
Melt your coconut oil over low heat.
Add in the rest of the ingredients, but save your almonds for the next step.
Spread the mixture onto a cookie sheet that you have lined with parchment paper. You should get a rectangle shape that is the size of an A4 sheet of paper.
Sprinkle your almonds, and freeze the chocolate.
Note: Keep in mind that this is nothing like regular milk chocolate. It is a dark chocolate bar, and some say it is too bitter. You can always add more maple syrup or raw honey.