Chocolate Cravings: 5 Health Benefits of Chocolate
Chocolate is the ultimate comfort food with a magical ability to improve your day with a single bite. Throughout history, it has been used as medicine and in healing practices around the world. The Maya and the Aztecs believed cacao was discovered by the gods, and the Maya held a yearly festival to honour the cacao god. Cacao was used in healing and preventative medicines and as a tool for administering foul-tasting medicines. Although it seems too good to be true, scientists are now finding evidence that chocolate, and particularly dark chocolate, does have beneficial effects on the body. We decided to investigate this further, and found five reasons why you should indulge in a sweet treat from Room 2046.
1. Prevent Heart Disease
One of the most researched health benefits of chocolate is its role in preventing cardiovascular problems, as it has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. A study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal showing a 50% decrease in heart disease in elderly men who consumed cocoa compared to those who did not. Another study revealed eating chocolate two or more times per week lowered the risk of having calcified plaque in the arteries by 32% – a type of calcium buildup that strongly increases the risk of heart disease.
2. Reduce Stroke Risk
Chocolate consumption has also been associated with reduced stroke risk. Researchers at the University of Aberdeen found eating 100g of chocolate per day (equivalent to the size of a chocolate bar) lowered the chance of suffering a stroke by 23%. Flavonoids, a natural compound found in cocoa, boost blood vessel health and lower blood pressure, contributing to a lower risk of stroke.
3. Prevent Diabetes
Although chocolate usually contains sugar, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that a small amount of chocolate each day can actually prevent against diabetes. People who ate 100g of chocolate each day had reduced insulin resistance, which plays a role in pre-diabetes, diabetes and cardiovascular health.
4. Improve Mood
The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology summarized the effects of chocolate on chemicals in the brain and its impact on mood. Dark chocolate stimulates the release of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain related to feelings of pleasure and happiness. Chocolate may also interact with the dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitter systems. This means in addition to being delicious, chocolate has the physiological ability to put you in a good mood.
5. High In Antioxidants
Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants including polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins. Antioxidants are organic compounds that are biologically active and protect your cells against damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses, so consuming antioxidants (including those in chocolate) may help prevent these diseases.
At Room 2046, we have a large range of sweet treats to satisfy your cravings and improve your health. Each Laura Slack bar is handmade, individually painted, and made from the finest couverture chocolate. Couverture chocolate contains a high percentage of cocoa butter, making it high in nutrients and melt in your mouth easily. The David H. Chow Chocolates and Confections Lavender Cassis Early Grey Dark Chocolate Bar is another tasty and nutritious choice, as it is made from 70% Guanja dark chocolate. If you are looking for a vegan option, the Shoko Chocolates Vegan Coconut White Chocolate is made with entirely plant based ingredients and has a smooth and creamy consistency. The Chocolat Bonnat bars might be the best chocolate we have ever tasted, and come in both a strong 75% Haiti Dark Chocolate and a lighter 65% Java Milk Chocolate. Marou is an artisan chocolate maker based in Vietnam, offering antioxidant-packed dark chocolate at 70%, 72%, and 74%. The Room Service Sweet Tooth set contains five of our favourite chocolate bars in a handmade wooden box with a sliding lid.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with our full collection of treats here, or come visit us at the Room 2046 store to check out our selection of chocolates in person. Follow our Instagram and Pinterest Food and Gifts for Food Lovers boards for more mouth-watering ideas!