A very encouraging new research study suggests that chocolate may help in fighting two of America’s most insidious health problems – heart disease and diabetes. To be honest, I was both hopeful and skeptical when researching this topic. After all, delicious foods such as chocolate are often linked to obesity, which is a leading factor in both of these diseases. However, researches are increasingly finding chocolate, and especially dark chocolate, to have lots of surprising health benefits.
In this study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, scientists analyzed the chocolate consumption of 1,153 people aged 18-69. The researchers found that 81.8 percent of the study participants ate chocolate regularly. The rest were determined to be dirty liars (just kidding). Compared with participants who did not eat chocolate every day, those who did were found to have reduced insulin resistance and improved liver enzyme levels, putting them at a much lower risk for heart disease and diabetes. Excitingly, the higher the chocolate consumption, the stronger this effect seemed to be.
I was sure this study’s findings could not get any better. However, I was blown away once more. Many dietary factors were examined by the researchers, in order to insure that the benefits they were seeing were, in fact, due to the chocolate consumption. One of these factors was the participants’ coffee intake. Coffee, as it turns out, is rich in the antioxidants polyphenols, which the researchers say have the potential to spur chocolate’s benefits for cardiometabolic risk. Cardiometabolic risk refers to a person’s risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, or stroke.
That’s right – you should have your daily dose of chocolate with a coffee, to maximize it’s health benefits! Thank you, researchers, from me and my mocha.
Chocolate consumption has also been shown to protect skin from UV damage, increase brain power, improve your eyesight, and even quiet a cough. It was also, to my delight, scientifically proven to help reduce stress in pregnant women and induce joy in their babies. Is there nothing this miracle food can’t do?