June 20, 2023
CM Content Team
Life Happens, Chocolate Helps – Sue Costello
What is life without a bit of sweetness, right? And what better way to have your dose of sweetness than munching on some chocolate. After all, no matter what you are feeling, what you are going through, a bit of chocolate always helps and makes things better. It instantly makes you feel good, doesn’t it?
If you have a sweet tooth and swear by the mantra that anything is good if it is made of chocolate, then we have good news for you. Chocolate has many amazing health benefits, from improving mood, to preventing cancer. So, with World Chocolate Day 2023 just around the corner, which occurs on July 7th, we thought we would spread some sweetness and tell the world about the health benefits of chocolate and that it is okay to have a couple of bites of the sweet delicacy.
Before we delve deep into the benefits of eating chocolate, let us understand more about what World Chocolate Day is?
World Chocolate Day is one of the new global events that was first celebrated in 2009. The date 7th July was chosen specifically for the celebration because it was on this day that chocolate first arrived in Europe in 1550.
Chocolate comes from Theobroma Cacao tree that has been cultivated for more than three millennia in Central America, Mexico, and other parts of the world. It is believed that Olmec, one of the most ancient civilisations in Latin America, used cocoa plant and the seeds to turn it into a drink for religious rituals and for medicine.
Among the various natural edible products, chocolates are known to be one of the best sources of flavanols, a compound that works like a blood pressure-lowering component. These compounds stimulate the body to produce nitrous oxide and help in opening the blood vessels.
You may have heard of the benefits of eating chocolate but if you wondered if they are true, let us tell you that many healthcare experts worldwide suggest eating small amounts of dark chocolate everyday does not cause any harm.
Contrary to popular opinion, not all cholesterol is bad. There are good and bad cholesterol, and while the latter is detrimental to health, the good cholesterol is useful and much-needed for efficient body functioning.
Many healthcare researchers worldwide have corroborated that chocolate contains a chemical compound called polyphenols, which help lower bad cholesterol levels. While all kinds of chocolates have these compounds, dark chocolate has high levels of polyphenols.
So, the next time you feel a craving for having a chocolate treat, but are denied by your loved ones, you can remind them about the benefits of chocolate and have a couple of pieces without feeling guilty about it.
The immediate ‘feel good’ factor after having a bar of chocolate is not just psychological but also is backed by a well-researched scientific study. As per a British Dietetic Association journal, people who have 42 g of dark chocolate a day in any form feel more content about themselves than those who do not consume dark chocolate.
The journal also states, people who eat small amounts of chocolate every day, feel happy and content through the day and are mostly in a good and jovial mood. The improvement in the mood among chocolate eaters is attributed to serotonin and endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in the brain, which are released after consuming chocolate.
One of the most significant benefits of eating chocolate is that it helps you protect the skin. Researchers have found that some compounds in chocolate have the capacity to protect your skin from the harsh sun rays and keep your natural complexion maintained.
A study published in Journal Nutrition suggests that people who eat about 20 gm of dark chocolate every day for about 12 weeks could spend twice the amount of the time in the sun before the skin starts to get reddened by the UV rays than those who don’t eat chocolate at all.
So, go ahead and enjoy having your chocolate treat and keep your skin replenished and protected from the sun. Of course, keep the intake limited to 20 gm or less!
Heart is one of the most important organs in the body, it pumps blood to different parts. Researchers worldwide have proved that consuming chocolate reduces the risk of heart diseases by up to 25%. The stearic acid in chocolate, especially in dark chocolates reduces the possibility of heart attack and atherosclerosis, a heart condition caused by increased cholesterol levels and inflammation of the arteries.
One of the advantages of dark chocolate is that the cocoa content reduces the LDL or the bad cholesterol and increases the HDL or the good cholesterol levels, which automatically keeps the heart healthy. Lastly, the antioxidant properties of chocolate also help in preventing heart inflammation.
Diarrhoea is a common health problem that affects people of all age groups, and it is prevalent among both male and females. While the issue is not serious, it can cause great discomfort, such as stomach ache, fatigue and restlessness.
While there are many home remedies for diarrhoea such as apple cider vinegar, coconut water, green tea, and more, nothing is as effective as chocolate. The polyphenols in chocolate inhibit intestinal CI-secretion and regularise the bowel movements.
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate is known to be one of the richest sources of Flavanols, a type of antioxidant that is known to reduce cell damage. Damaged cells can lead to cancer development. By reducing the cell damage, dark chocolate can help in potentially keeping the cancer at bay.
During pregnancy, women have a craving for different kinds of food. And, if you feel like having chocolate but are worried about its implications. Well, keep your worries aside and enjoy having a small bite or two of chocolate and satiate your cravings.
Among the host of health benefits of chocolate, supporting foetus growth is perhaps the most important one for women. Consuming chocolate during pregnancy has been directly linked to better moods of the mother and increased blood flow to the foetus. Also, chocolate is known to decrease stress among soon-to-be mothers who consume chocolates daily and they show better temperament than others.
One of the lesser-known benefits of chocolate is that it is a rich source of several vital minerals required for the effective functioning of the body and the overall well-being. It is rich in minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, and magnesium.
All these minerals help your body in different ways. For example, iron is vital for blood, and magnesium helps in curing acidity-related issues and improving your digestive system.
There are different ways to celebrate chocolate day, the options are endless. if you are looking for some better and out-of-the-box ideas, here are our suggestions –
July is a wonderful time to go on a family holiday to your favourite destination. The monsoon makes nature come alive and the weather during this time of the year is pleasant. On a rainy evening when it is cold and cosy outside, you may crave a cup of hot chocolate, right?
You can satiate your craving and enjoy a range of other chocolate dishes at any of the 125+ Club Mahindra resorts. These resorts are rated among the top family resorts in India and abroad and they have a reputation for offering premium amenities and world class hospitality that make your holiday memorable!
Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.