Chocolate is one “food” that gets a bad rap at times due to its high fat and sugar content. But contrary to this belief, chocolate isn’t as bad as it was once believed.
The fact behind this is that chocolate is made from cocoa, a plant nutrient rich in health –protective compounds called flavonoids. Flavonoids in addition to its antioxidants properties also help in relaxing and dilating blood vessels, reduce blood pressure, prevent clot formation and increase blood flow to the brain and heart.
Besides dark chocolates , green and black tea contain the richest amount of flavonoids; followed by black grapes, milk chocolate, red wine, apples, strawberries, raisins and onions in decreasing order. Regarding the chocolate, its beneficial effects depend both on the cocoa content and how the cocoa is processed.
Since natural cocoa is very bitter, pungent and unpalatable, it requires a lot of processing before it could be actually consumed. And moreover, a lot added sugar is added to transform it into a delicious candy bar. Tagging this sugar loaded cocoa a “health food” is far beyond imagination. But still if you are intended to eat chocolate, your choice should be dark chocolate (contain more flavonoids) rather than milk chocolate because of the associated heart –health benefits.
But the amount which would reap the health benefit is still uncertain. And also, chocolate is not the perfect diet in terms of its energy, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals content to meet the need for sports activity. Since chocolate are loaded with sugar, it plays an important role in post recovery.
But this benefit is curtailed due its high fat content. Because it’s the carbohydrates that you need to replace and not fat to meet recover lost energy. So as a rule of convince eating chocolate is recommended as a treat – may be once or twice a week due to its high fat and sugar content.