As a youngster I used to eat quite a lot of milk chocolate, but gave it up 20 years’ ago due to migraines. I always found the taste of dark chocolate too bitter. However, I’ve often read that dark chocolate can have health benefits, and in this guest blog today Tanya Sen gives some examples of benefits that will thrill all you chocolate-loving seniors (and juniors for that matter) out there. You can find out more about Tanya by visiting her social media sites below:
Tanya Sen quit her well-paying job to follow her dreams and become a writer. She is now creating and managing digital content to build relationships for organizations and individuals. An avid traveller, having visited more than 40 countries. She loves to cook and try different cuisines. She now lives in Goa, India.
5 Health Benefits of Chocolate for Seniors
Popular all over the world for its delicious taste, chocolate is available in a wide variety of forms these days. However, it is no longer considered that chocolate’s only redeeming quality is its taste. Over the years, research has discovered that chocolates have several compounds that are beneficial to human health. It is no longer restricted to the young as well. Even seniors are being encouraged to consume some chocolate, especially the dark variety, to gain the benefits possible.
Here are some of those benefits.
Reduced Risks for Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s is a dangerous degenerative disease to which the elderly are particularly susceptible. However, it has been noted that dark chocolate can have a role in decreasing the risks for this condition.
The flavonol content of dark chocolate can increase the flow of blood to the brain. As a result, it becomes easier for senior people to maintain their cognitive abilities. Even more remarkable is the fact that it will also be beneficial for those already diagnosed with the condition. Regular consumption of dark chocolate can improve brain function temporarily.
Prevention of Heart Disease
Senior people are at an increased risk for heart disease. This risk can be reduced through the consumption of dark chocolate. This food item contains several beneficial compounds which are capable of preventing the oxidation of LDL. LDL is more commonly referred to as the bad variety of cholesterol. As a result, it is possible for dark chocolate to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Additionally, dark chocolate is known to be capable of reducing blood pressure. This, in turn, improves heart health. It is possible to gain all of these benefits by consuming only a little amount of chocolate every week.
Improvement of Good Cholesterol Levels
The benefits of dark chocolate on the heart do not extend to just preventing the effects of LDL. Instead, it is also capable of improving the levels of good cholesterol, also called HDL. HDL is capable of maintaining the health of the entire cardiovascular system including the arteries and the heart.
Enhancement of Mood
People do not like chocolate simply because it is delicious but also because of the effect it has on the mood. Dark chocolate is a rich source of tryptophan, an amino acid that is responsible for the production of serotonin. Additionally, it also has compounds that can produce endorphins. Endorphins and serotonins are chemicals that improve your mood and make you feel positive and happy.
This is particularly beneficial for senior people as they are at greater risk of depression and other negative moods and behaviors. Consumption of dark chocolate can greatly benefit them.
Reduced Risk of Skin Cancer
The skin tends to thin out with age, thereby weakening the body’s resistance to skin cancer. Therefore, senior people are at increased risk of that condition. However, consumption of dark chocolate can significantly reduce your risks for skin cancer. This is due to the protection provided by the flavonols present in it.
The benefits of dark chocolate are certainly commendable. However, its consumption among seniors must be monitored as excess chocolate may result in other complications.