Dark choco a day, keeps doctor away

New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) Craving for chocolates, but don't want to gain those extra pounds? Worry not! Go for a dark chocolate, which contains a good amount of vitamins, minerals, iron, potassium and magnesium.

Physicians suggest dark chocolates are good for the heart, and they help reduce cardiovascular ailments as they contain potassium and copper. High in iron content, dark chocolates also cure anemia. Whereas, magnesium prevents high blood pressure, and diabetes.

An online study inducates that a person should consune two or three grams of sweet candies a week to reap its health benefits. The research also suggests that if you eat a bit of dark chocolate as a dessert after your meals, it is likely to curb weight gain.

Following are benefits of dark chocolates:

Controls blood pressure: Having little amount of dark chocolates at least thrice a week improves blood flow and prevents blood clotting," says Sonal Arora, a Delhi-based dietician. "It also lowers blood pressure and arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)," she adds.

Good for brain: Since it improves the blood flow in the body, it helps improve cognitive function, and also reduces the risk of a stroke. Arora also said dark chocolates contain Phenylethylamine (PEA). It's the same chemical that our brain creates when a person falls in love. The chemical helps brain to release endorphins, which results in making a person happier.

Controls blood sugar: Dark chocolates keep blood vessels healthy and help control diabetes. "Dark chocolates contain a chemical called flavonoids which reduces insulin resistance and encourage body cells to function normally," adds the dietician.

Loaded with antioxidants: Antioxidants help release free radicals, which damage cells. A human body develops free radicals when a person grows old. These radicals can also cause cancer. Dark chocolates lower down the signs of ageing and reduce cancer risks.

Reduces stress: "Dark chocolates help reducing stress as it contain good amount of cocoa, and cocoa helps reduces stress hormones," says Arora.