Indulgence never tasted and sounded so good! Take a look at the reasons why Chocolate and Red wine are actually pretty good for you! Not only will you be doing your heart a favor by nibbling on a square of dark rich heaven, but it also helps to increase levels of “good cholesterol”, enhances brain function by improving blood flow to the brain and researchers have shown that eating dark chocolate can fight skin cancer. You might think chocolate is sinful, but it's a lot better for you than you think. In fact, it has been used for hundreds of years by medical professionals to cure ailments such as tuberculosis, gout, fatigue, diarrhea, weak digestion, hemorrhoids, low virility, and shortness of breath. Scientists believe polyphenols - plant chemicals abundant in dark chocolate and wines - widen blood vessels and speed the supply of blood to the brain. Chocolate also appears to be extremely beneficial to our skin with recent studies showing that dining on chocolate can improve skin quality and reduce wrinkles and even increase the skins natural SPF quality making it less vulnerable to sunburn. And speaking of skin, what's the supposed old wives tale that chocolate causes acne? Chocolate neither causes nor aggravates acne, according to acne resource center (acne-resource.org).
10 REALLY GOOD REASONS... Why You Should Eat Chocolate!1) Chocolate lowers your blood pressure- The darker the chocolate, the more flavanoids, those lovely substances in cocoa that increase the nitric oxide in your blood. Just one small square of chocolate a day can lower your risk of heart attack by 39 percent. Flavonoids in cocoa (procyanids) help balance blood pressure and reduce blood clotting. Researchers from Germany's University Hospital of Cologne, found that cocoa consumption lowered blood pressure by an average of 4.7/2.8 mm Hg. The New York Times reported that dark chocolate is almost as effective at lowering blood pressure as common antihypertensive drugs.
2) Chocolate reduces your risk of stroke as well-Due to its cocoa content, which increases the blood flow around the brain. It also improves blood sugar levels and lowers risk of diabetes. Lisa C. Cohn, R.D., President of the Park Avenue Nutrition Spa in NYC, wrote that flavonoids in pure dark chocolate are responsible for these added benefits. Cohn said, "if you're going to indulge on Feb. 14 or any other day, go for the purest dark chocolate you can find". That's the kind loaded with flavonoids, which also protect against cancer.
3) Chocolate is full of antioxidants-Namely flavanols and procyanidin, and boosts mood. MSNBC reported that caffeine and other chemicals in dark chocolate can improve your mood and ease premenstrual symptoms. Mark's Daily Apple wrote that the chemical phenylethylamine in chocolate has been found to trigger feelings similar to "falling in love." Chocolate helps you get over your break-up! The phenylethylamine (PEA) found in chocolate is an amphetamine-like substance that simulates the feeling of falling in love. So coupled up with a glass of wine can be divine!
4) Raises HDL cholesterol and lowers LDL cholesterol - a Penn State study found that diets high in cocoa powder and dark chocolate (with high flavonoid content) are related to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels when compared with diets low in flavonoids such as tea, wine, coffee, and onions. Red wine, in moderation, has long been thought of as heart healthy. The alcohol and certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of "good" cholesterol and protecting against artery damage.
5) Chocolate makes you sexier (Hint:ORGASM)- The Mayans were the first to consider cocoa an aphrodisiac—and with good reason. Cocoa boosts serotonin levels in the brain plus PEA in cocoa sends dopamine into our so-called pleasure centers of the brain. That’s pleasure center as in orgasm.
6) Chocolate can help you jumpstart your day- The xanthine in chocolate works like caffeine. This is apparently why chocolate goes so well with coffee. It also helps ease chronic fatigue syndrome - a study found that adults with chronic fatigue syndrome who eat 1.5 ounces of 85% cocoa dark chocolate were less fatigued after they eat chocolate.
7) Chocolate helps prevent cavities—Thanks to theobromine, a substance as effective as fluoride, in some chocolates.
8) Eases a persistent cough - a UK study found that theobromine, a component in cocoa, may be more effective as a cough medicine than standard drug treatments. The research showed that "theobromine acts on the sensory nerve endings of the vagus nerve, which runs through the airways in the lungs to the brain."
9) Makes you smarter by improving blood flow to brain - a University of Nottingham professor found that drinking cocoa drinks rich in flavanols improves blood flow to key areas of the brain for two to three hours. Flavanols in the cocoa drink are a key ingredient of dark chocolate. Professor Macdonald's study also suggested that cocoa flavanols in chocolate may enhance brain function to help fight sleep deprivation, fatigue, and the effects of aging.
10) Chocolate just tastes good- Whoever said, “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels”, wasn’t talking about chocolate!
msnbc.com, knol.com, the internet chef, realage.com, ezinearticles.com, guardian.co.uk, dailymail reporter, acne-resource.org