To put an end to the debate once and for all we’ve done a bit of research on whether chocolate is actually good for you. Can it really help you lose weight and feel happier?
Yes, chocolate can actually be very beneficial for you, but hold up what’s the trick? Well, not just any type of chocolate is good for you. Here a list of some proven health benefits of chocolate and a few of the many things you can do with chocolate.
By Mariam Elhamy
- Quality dark chocolate is rich in fiber, antioxidants, iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, manganese and a few other minerals that are beneficial to your skin.
- Dark chocolate can also reduce insulin resistance and lower your cholesterol level, decreasing the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
- Cocoa or dark chocolate contain stimulants like caffeine and theobromine which increase blood flow and help improve brain function, cognition and prevent memory decline. Health Benefits of Chocolate
- Chocolate stimulates neural activity in areas of the brain associated with pleasure and reward, which in turn decreases stress and improves your mood.
- It helps you produce more endorphins which prevent depression.
Tips on consuming chocolate the right way:
- Consume good quality dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa.
- The darker the chocolate, the less sugar it will contain.
- Eat in moderation because it is filled with calories, sugar and tempting to overeat.
- Eating a square or two of dark chocolate before or after meals triggers hormones that signal to your brain that you’re full which helps you curb cravings.
- Get the benefits of cocoa without the calories in chocolate by making hot cocoa without any cream or sugar. Health Benefits of Chocolate
Ways you could use chocolate other than eating it:
1. Chocolate Face Mask
Cocoa contains anti-aging properties that help hydrate, rejuvenate and tone your face, it battles blemishes and refreshes the skin. Health Benefits of Chocolate
Mix up 1 mashed avocado, 3 tbsps of raw cacao powder (70% or more cocoa), 2 tsp honey and 1 tbsp cinnamon and gently massage the mixture onto your face and leave it for about 25 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
2. Chocolate Lip Balm
Delicious and moisturizing chocolate lip balm that is easy to make, smells amazing, and tastes pretty good, too (though we don’t recommend snacking on it).
- 4 tbsp jojoba or almond oil
- 1 tbsp grated beeswax or beeswax pearls
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp vitamin E oil
- 7 drops lavender essential oil (or any essential oil)
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
On low heat warm the oils, beeswax and honey in a small, stainless steel pot or bowl. Stir until completely melted then remove from heat and quickly whisk in the essential oil, vitamin E and cocoa powder. Place the bottom of the bowl into a shallow pan of ice water and whisk until incorporated, quickly transfer the mix into a lip balm container and let set for 3 hours. Health Benefits of Chocolate
3. Chocolate Hair Mask
Give yourself a luxurious hair mask by mixing: 2 tsp of jojoba oil, 2 tsps of coconut oil, 2 tsp of avocado oil and a handful of melted chocolate. Finish it up with a couple of drops of lemon and lavender oil, and lather up! Rinse off with shampoo and enjoy your luscious, great-smelling hair! Health Benefits of Chocolate
4. Chocolate Tanning Oil
Get your perfect tan on in the most natural way by adding cocoa powder to your favorite moisturizer. It smells great, and it won’t leave you orange!
5. Chocolate Scrub
To get soft, rejuvenated skin with this mint chocolate scrub, add together:
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- ⅓ cup almond oil
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 10 drops of peppermint essential oil
Store the mixture in a glass jar and scrub away. P.S. Just like the lip balm, this scrub makes a great gift!
6. Chocolate Candles
Smooth, sensational and romantic chocolate candles are the perfect end to a stressful day. Melt some chocolate and any old candles in a water bath over a pan and mix together until well combined then pour in any glass or tin container and place a candle wick in the middle. Wait until it sets, about 24 hours and light it up!
7. Chocolate Fertilizer
Add a little cocoa to your plants or flower pots and watch them bloom! Better yet, make it a mocha with some used coffee grounds. Cocoa and coffee beans can be used as a nitrogen-rich fertilizer and it also deters slugs and snails.