Chocolate is one of the most popular foods ever known. For centuries, it has been appreciated for its rich, smooth and delicious flavor. For some time now, chocolate has been studied for its potential health benefits, with intriguing results. More and more often you see Chocolate treatments and therapies appear on many spa-menus. So, although we love the idea of slathering ourselves in heavenly-scented chocolate, it can actually be good for you!
Different types of chocolate range in their benefits. Dark chocolate is the most healthful, as it has more cocoa solids, which contain the beneficial constituents that chocolate provides. Now let us tell you a little bit more about the health benefits of Chocolate.
Chocolate contains several ingredients which all have a different beneficial effect on our health. To start with the cocoa beans contain antioxidants called ¨Flavonols¨. The antioxidant concentration in cocoa beans is twice that of red wine, two to three times that of green tea, and four to five times that of black tea. So, eating chocolate may help reduce blood pressure, improve blood vessel function and improve heart health. In Spa treatments these antioxidants are used because they have a dramatic anti-ageing effect and enhance your skin elasticity and lessen the appearance of wrinkles! Good to know is that Flavonol levels are highest in dark chocolate, although they’re also present in milk chocolate, too.
Another reason why chocolate is more and more used in Spa treatments is because of the cacao butter. Although chocolate does have a certain amount of fat in the form of cocoa butter, the constituents of this fat do have benefits. Although one third of the fat in cocoa butter is made up of palmitic acid, which can contribute to increased cholesterol levels when consumed in large quantities, nearly half of the fat in chocolate is comprised of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that can also be found in olive oil. Oleic acid is considered heart-healthy, helping to reduce bad and increase good cholesterol. In addition cocoa butter is moisturising and nourishing for your skin, soften its and helps it to glow, and that makes our skin happy!
Last but not least, chocolate stimulates the release of serotonin, a hormone that can induce feelings of peace and well being. You’ll also benefit from that mood-lifting whoosh of chocolaty smell, too. That is also why Spa treatments in which chocolate is used are so damn nice and relaxing!
Just a short last note before you start adding chocolate to your daily diet for health reasons. Chocolate comes in various forms, including white and dark . Since chocolate can also be high in fat and calories, it should be consumed in moderation. Adding to this, certain types of chocolate may have more health benefits than others.