Why chocolate is good for your mental wellbeing
We often think of chocolate as being delicious but not good for us. Well that’s just not true! And here’s why:
Cocoa is high in flavanols. These abundant phenolic plant compounds have marked anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and are thought to be responsible for much of the health benefit ascribed to chocolate consumption.
For a reference point, the darker the chocolate, the more flavanols.
Flavenols can help reduce blood pressure. Having high blood pressure, of course, is very unhealthy, and can even lead to stroke. a 2011 study of the Swedish Mammography Cohort, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which found an inverse relationship between cocoa-rich chocolate consumption in women and stroke: Increasing chocolate consumption by 50 g per week reduced cerebral infarction risk by 12%, hemorrhagic stroke risk by 27%, and total stroke risk by 14%.
A more recent study looking at a cohort of over 37,000 Swedish men published in Neurology, reported that individuals who eat at least 1.8 oz of chocolate per week have a 17% lower risk for stroke compared with those who eat less than 0.4 oz per week.
In other recent research, it is shown that the amount of flavanol was the key factor in helping seniors to reduce memory loss.
Other articles state that flavanol also help in regulating your mood and even depression.
So, the bottom line here is that eating chocolate is good for your memory, blood pressure, and your mood. It helps alleviate depression and also acts as an anti-inflammatory, which means that it is good for your brain. And if it is good for your brain...it is good for you.