Snacking on chocolate is perhaps the most delectable way to boost your health as well as reduce your risk of diabetes. Recent findings from a research study conducted on laboratory mice reveal that one particular type of antioxidant found in cocoa could help prevent a person from gaining extra weight and in turn lower their blood sugar levels, thus keeping type-2 diabetes at bay.
Chocolates are one of the most anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods known today. The antioxidant flavanol, present in chocolate is responsible for the immense health benefits including improved thinking, decreased appetite, improved cardiovascular circulation, and lowered blood pressure in addition to reduced risk of type-2 diabetes. Improving blood flow to the brain and heart, as well as boosting the clotting properties of blood platelets are produce these benefits.The strong bitter taste in chocolate is derived from these flavanols.This is why the qualities of dark chocolate are not associated with milk chocolate, which has been processed to reduce bitterness and thus contains less flavanols.Researchers opine that unprocessed dark chocolate that has not been stripped of its flavanols in the process of sweetening is the healthiest and recommend consuming a small amount of dark chocolate at frequent intervals in order to ensure a steadier stream of nutrients in the bloodstream.
It is important to understand that commercially available milk chocolate does not guarantee the same therapeutic benefits described above as it contains pasteurized milk as well as large doses of sugar that significantly dampen the health benefits. The closer the chocolate you consume is to its natural raw state, the higher its nutritional value. Ideally, chocolate or cocoa should be consumed in the raw form. The amount of flavanol present is in direct proportion to the bitterness. Although raw cocoa is the most nutritious form of chocolate, the study referred to above used dark chocolate,not raw chocolate and still saw positive health results.This is because a good amount of the nutritional benefits of cocoa remain intact even after processing. It is however still advised that you try to consume a minimally processed chocolate that is palatable (chocolate with a cocoa percentage of about 70 or higher) to ensure optimum health benefits.