Did you know that earring chocolate can be healthy? It’s true that a type of candy that people often associate with cavities and poor dental health could actually lower a person’s risk of dying. For a person that eats about two pieces of a bar chocolate or in other words, 12 grams of chocolate, they lower their risk of dying by 12%. So, in a way, it’s almost like for every gram of chocolate you eat per day, that’s how much of a percentage you reduce your chance of dying by.
Seniors want to know if this is true for them and what the health benefits of chocolate are that they can take advantage of. The health benefits of chocolate (not your average Hershey’s bar) can be accessed by anyone of any age. They are especially helpful for seniors and the U.S. National Cancer Institute makes that known.
Keep reading to learn whether chocolate really is extending the lifespan of seniors, the health benefits it has, and how you can take advantage of it as you age.
The Health Benefits of Chocolate for Seniors
The list of health benefits chocolate has for seniors might be a bit long. For starters, dark chocolate offers:
- A boost in cognitive health
- Skin protection
- Heart-related condition prevention
- Reduction in bad cholesterol
Overall, dark chocolate contains a lot of flavonoids, which have been shown to increase blood flow to the brain. While older adults may experience some cognitive decline, their abilities can be preserved. Believe it or not, dark chocolate has been shown to help those with Alzheimer’s disease, in addition to helping those already suffering from it. So yes, chocolate is making it possible to protect yourself against Alzheimer’s disease as a senior.
In terms of nutrition, it may be difficult to manage the consequences of aging. Those who enjoy having a sweet tooth would really enjoy the health benefits of chocolate. In general, the higher the cocoa content, the greater the potential health benefits. Dark chocolate has been shown to have cardiovascular health benefits as well as increased immunity.
Some people believe that chocolate is an official superfood. In addition to its natural benefits, superfood foods also contain antioxidants and healing properties. Regular chocolate consumption has been linked to a variety of mood and memory improvements, according to some studies as well which is something that could significantly benefit seniors.
One square of chocolate alone is said to remove free radicals from the blood in addition to helping to strengthen immunity. Chocolate contains a large amount of chemicals that are transported to the brain via the skin. No need to worry though, in moderation chocolate is a great snack to crave. A small amount of chocolate, such as flakes or powder, can add a touch of spice to bland food if a person is on a restricted diet as well.
Moderation Is Key
So, what is a good daily dose of dark chocolate? Experts recommend 1 to 2 ounces of it or anywhere between 30 and 60 grams. If you consume more than that, you may be consuming a large number of calories. Here’s a little tip, a 1.45-ounce (40-gram) serving of Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Bar usually contains 190 calories.
To avoid excessive calorie consumption, the recommended daily intake of chocolate is 30g, but not every day. Dark chocolate has 75% cocoa and is healthier than white chocolate, so choose it if you want the most benefits. A 100g bar of dark chocolate contains 50-60mg of flavonoids. In comparison, a milk chocolate bar contains only 10mg of flavonoids. These are things seniors need to pay attention to when they are shopping for chocolate to try.
Dark chocolate is an excellent choice for people who want to reduce their sugar and fat intake, but they should be aware that the sugar and fat content is high. Dark chocolate can be eaten on an empty stomach after a solid meal, or as a snack without upsetting your stomach but seniors should pay attention to this. Dark chocolate with nondairy flavors or dark chocolate with roasted cocoa beans in the recipe are two other options.
Women should consume no more than 100 calories of chocolate per day, while men should consume no more than 150 calories per day. Dark chocolate, in addition to being healthy, can help you avoid heart disease and improve your mood.
It’s not advised to eat more than 30 to 40 grams of food per day if you are overweight or have other health issues, so keep this in mind if you do start to take advantage of the health benefits of chocolate. It can be easy to counteract those health benefits if you are already struggling with weight concerns. Try to limit yourself to no more than a small amount of dark chocolate per day in order to reap the benefits it has to offer without putting your overall health at risk in other ways.
Chocolate Curing Cancer?
Varieties of dark chocolate contain the highest percentage of cocoa beans with flavonoids in them, according to a study published in the journal Food Chemistry. An antioxidant known as flavonoids has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions.
It’s crucial to stress the point that there is currently no scientific consensus that chocolate can outright cure cancer. Cancer is a complex and multifaceted disease and there are multiple types of cancer. It’s unlikely that a single food item, no matter how rich in antioxidants or nutrients, can provide a complete cure for such a diverse range of conditions involved in different types of cancer.
However, it is worth noting that chocolate, particularly dark chocolate with a high content of cocoa, contains compounds known as flavonoids as we were talking about. These antioxidants are believed to help protect cells from damage caused by oxidative stress, which can contribute to various chronic diseases, including cancer. Research has already shown that certain types of flavonoids can potentially slow down the growth of cancer cells and inhibit the development of blood vessels that supply nutrients to tumors.
Results for the combination of using chocolate to help aid in cancer prevention are far from conclusive. Seniors should keep in mind that the flavonoids in chocolate are not uniform across all products, and factors such as processing methods and additives can influence the final content of these compounds. This simply means that every bar of chocolate will not be the same or have the same benefits.
A critical aspect to remember with this is that chocolate is not a medical treatment. Relying solely on chocolate or any other single food as a substitute for proven medical therapies is never advisable and can have serious consequences for a senior’s health.
Chocolate Turning Out to Be a Great Option for Longevity
The idea of chocolate curing cancer is still under speculation because it doesn’t actually cure cancer but it can help to prevent it in some cases. Seniors who incorporate a bit of chocolate into their diets are likely to see significant increases in their moods, better heart health, and a better relationship with their cholesterol. This is an interesting fact that often goes overlooked because people usually tend to look past the health benefits that simple foods and ingredients can have.
Instead of trying to avoid a bard of chocolate next time you’re in the supermarket, pick one up and decide whether you want to take its health advantages for a try.
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