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Helping With Chocoholic's Guilt

Dec 28, 2007
Who doesn't love Christmas time? It seems at this wonderful time of year, everybody is a little bit nicer to each other, stores are decorated with beautiful ribbons, bows and ornaments, and lights sparkle everywhere you go! Everything about the holiday season is beautiful. - Especially the chocolate. With all the joy and love of Christmas, for a lot of us, also comes with a need for larger pants! Truffles, creamy pies, fudge and cakes are everywhere, and with them often comes dieter's guilt. Of course chocolate can definitely cause you to add to your midsection, but fortunately, there have been studies to show that there are some health benefits to it, as well! So here's an article to relieve all of our chocoholic guilt. - Let's talk about the health benefits of chocolate!

Chocolate isn't exactly nutrient rich, but it's actually a lot better for you than you might think. Cocoa, which is what chocolate is made from, contains several substances that have only positive effects in the body. For starters, cocoa contains several different stimulants. These substances help to clear up a foggy mind, raise alertness, and in general make a person think more clearly. At the same time it also contains tryptophan, an amino acid that has the effect of relieving stress and reducing anxiety by producing the neurotransmitter serotonin. Finally, cocoa contains endorphins, the body's natural opiates that reduce sensitivity to pain. Now, unfortunately, cocoa doesn't contain very much of these beneficial ingredients, so what does all of this mean? Simply put, while you'd have to eat an unhealthy amount of chocolate to feel a huge difference caused by these substances, there is no arguing that they are there, and they can have a positive influence on your health and happiness.

One area where chocolate does truly excel, however, is antioxidants. For those of you who don't know, antioxidants are what Hollywood celebrities and health nuts are absolutely going crazy over. They're agents that get absorbed by your body and protect it from free radicals. These are harmful products that damage the body, causing everything from the development of cancer to early aging. Chocolate, fortunately, contains a lot of these antioxidants - more, actually, than most other foods, even blueberries. Dark and milk chocolates have very high ORAC values, which are measurements that determine how powerful the antioxidant value of a food is. While dark chocolate has roughly twice the amount of antioxidants as milk chocolate, a 40 gram serving of milk chocolate has about the same antioxidant content of one glass of red wine.

A surprising health benefit of chocolate is that it can actually be good for your heart! Research has indicated that consuming chocolate can be of great benefit to nearly your entire cardiovascular system. Cocoa contains a substance that helps your body to produce Nitric Oxide, which helps to make sure your blood pressure remains at a healthy level. By helping your body to process the compound Nitric Oxide more efficiently, your body's blood can flow at a smooth and healthy rate; thus ensuring your heart's workload can be reduced by large amounts. Chocolate also helps to regulate your blood flow by keeping blood platelets at normal levels, keeping the blood smooth and thin. - By keeping the blood thing, you help to reduce your risk of blood clots and stroke.

While chocolate is normally viewed as being very good for you, it can actually be a healthy addition to your diet. It can help keep your heart and blood vessels in pristine condition, as well as ward off premature aging. The key to chocolate, of course, is that a little goes a long way, and while chocolate does have a few very important health benefits, it is also loaded with calories. Because of this, it is recommended that you intake chocolate between 3 to 5 times a month, to receive the most benefits while consuming the least amount of calories. Snack on chocolate wisely, and remember - it's ok to splurge every once in a while, especially around Christmas!
About the Author
Cole Carson is a successful internet and network marketer. Buy Goji Juice today and see what makes it so great! Read all of our wonderful Himalayan Goji Juice resources!
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