Chocolates are seen at a Wittamer chocolate workshop ahead of the Easter weekend in Brussels, Belgium April 17, 2019.
Chocolates are seen at a Wittamer chocolate workshop ahead of the Easter weekend in Brussels, Belgium April 17, 2019. Reuters / Yves Herman

Some may tip-toe around eating chocolate due to its addictive sugar content or the chance of weight gain, both of which might pose health risks. But fear not, you can still satisfy your insatiable sweet tooth at the right frequency, as chocolate could be as sweet as its health benefits.

Today is National Chocolate Day and here are some verified health benefits of your favorite sweet treat to help you celebrate today guilt-free.

Cardiovascular disease prevention

Heart Attack
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Epidemiological data from Latif's longitudinal research, published in The Journal of Medicine in the Netherlands, reveals that the daily average consumption of around 2oz dark chocolate can lower systolic blood pressure.

The root cause of this lowering effect is still unknown. But the researcher concluded that the involvement of "increased nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability, flavonol-induced inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme and stearic acid-based reduction of diastolic blood pressure" may have contributed to the change in the hypersensitive status of the subjects.

The said study was conducted among healthy subjects ranging from 65-84 years old.

Stroke prevention

Stroke Health
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Chocolate is known for its timeless good taste but has a bad name in the realm of health. However, contrary to popular belief, dark chocolate is beneficial. Cocoa contains a compound called flavonol that helps with increasing blood flow. Flavonols are high in antioxidants, which are also found in fruits and vegetables.

A cross-sectional study published in The Journal of Nutrition suggested that dark chocolate consumption may help in cases where there is a reduction in cerebral flow. And according to prospective population research, 100/g of chocolate per day is recommended to lower the occurrence of stroke.

Powerful Antioxidant carrier

Antioxidant-rich foods

Cocoa contains flavonoids which are natural antioxidants. The Winchester Hospital presented evidence to health claims that antioxidants are disease-fighting substances that neutralize the excess harmful byproducts of oxygen reactions, such as free radicals. Common diseases that develop free radicals are cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, cataracts and cancer.


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You can now call your go-to dessert "sweet medicine" because it contains anti-inflammatory components called flavonoids and polyphenols that may relieve pain, reduce inflammation and may protect against diseases that develop oxidative stress, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease (AD), depression and memory loss.

According to UHealth Collective, dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa, which is not present in milk or white chocolate, may have anti-inflammatory properties. This is beneficial for your heart and liver.


diabetes and cholesterol medicines
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According to a 2008 study on the daily consumption of dark chocolate, consuming cocoa flavanol-containing chocolate with additional plant sterols, which are natural substances found in fruits and vegetables, on a constant basis lowers LDL cholesterol levels, sometimes known as bad cholesterol.

Fetal and growth development

Representational image (pregnant woman)
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A study published in the National Library of Medicine noted that chocolate can lessen the risk of Preeclampsia during pregnancy owing to its high theobromine levels, which is a multi-assisting substance that reduces blood pressure, increases blood flow and raises HDL.

Preeclampsia is a spike in blood pressure where rapid swelling of hands and legs occurs.

Cognitive function improver

Alzheimer's Stress
High levels of stress may damage cognitive function. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

As stated, flavanols have a favorable reputation for its health benefits, particularly in terms of vascular health. And it doesn't stop there.

The daily load of cocoa flavanols may also improve cognitive performance such as general cognition and memory among young and elderly groups, a study by Oxford Academic showed. A high intake of cocoa flavanols is regarded as a "preventive strategy" that can avoid exposure to neurodegenerative disorders or cognitive impairment.

Hormone booster

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Eating chocolate tickles our brain in a good way by having the ability to interact with the brain's neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. Chocolate, according to a study, has an effect on dopamine because it includes the dopamine precursor tyrosine. Serotonin and endorphin levels are also increased because they are linked to hunger, reward and mood management.

Post-exercise fuel


The benefits of chocolate vary based on its formula. However, for post-workout aid for endurance athletes, it is recommended to drink chocolate milk.

According to a study, chocolate milk includes protein and carbs which may promote recovery and reduce muscle damage after a strenuous workout.

Skincare protectant

Editorial, Experimental Featured on April 6, 2020,
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Chocolate contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it beneficial to the skin. The presence of flavanols in chocolate can also act as photoprotection, shielding the skin from damaging UV rays.

Fatigue presser

supplements to fight fatigue

Research shows that chocolate can help manage fatigue in the form of a hot chocolate drink! According to some studies, the polyphenol element found in chocolate, which may also be obtained from plant-based food and cacao, can help alleviate chronic fatigue.

Full of nutrients

Representation. A chocolate bar. AlexanderStein/Pixabay

Eating chocolate can be healthy just as long as you're taking the right amount at the right frequency. Taking advantage of its nutrients may be beneficial to your body. A few of its nutritious contents are fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese.