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If you are selective about the type of chocolate you purchase, you might be gaining quite a few health benefits. Dark chocolate, made with high content of cocoa has actual nutritional value. For instance, it has fiber, iron, copper, zinc and several other minerals. It’s also loaded with antioxidants and can have more than blueberries or acai berries.

The flavonoids that are in dark chocolate stimulate the endothelium which is the lining inside arteries. When stimulated, they start to produce nitric oxide which causes the arteries to relax. This means lower blood pressure and increased blood flow. Some studies are showing that dark chocolate (made with real cocoa) can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. It can also improve brain function because of the increased blood flow to the brain. Cocoa might improve cognitive function for the elderly as well as improving verbal fluency. This may mean it helps prevent Alzheimer’s or dementia.

There have also been a few studies that have shown dark chocolate may reduce insulin levels which means it might be beneficial for diabetics and helping to control blood sugars. Participants who ate dark chocolate for 15 days saw insulin drop by about half. If insulin sensitivity can be controlled, it may be possible to prevent type 2 diabetes. Chocolate might be helpful in controlling insulin levels.

Chocolate has always been one of our favourite snacks to munch on. It's that one thing which can uplift our mood in no time. Nowadays, chocolate is being used in various forms in different desserts. It is said to have vital properties that can play an important role in maintaining healthy lifestyle, if consumed in moderation. However, there are a lot of myths that are associated with the tasty delight.

Here's a list of 5 common myths about chocolate that you shouldn't believe anymore. Read on to know more about them.

Myth 1. Chocolate Lacks Health Benefits

Chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants, magnesium and zinc. It also contains phosphate, calcium and protein which helps reduce insulin resistance. Bangalore-based Nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood agrees, "Dark chocolate has health benefits in terms of antioxidants." Consumption of dark chocolate in moderation may help in maintaining the blood pressure and could also keep your heart healthy.

Myth 2. Chocolate Causes Acne

When it comes to skin health, our diet plays a major role. As per Dr. Anju, "Chocolate may cause acne due to the presence of fat content in it but not always, as a lot depends upon your skin type." It is believed that high intake of oily food can cause acne on the skin.

Myth 3. Chocolate Causes Weight Gain

Chocolate is not the only primary reason behind weight gain. According to Dr. Anju, "Anything eaten in moderation won't affect your health and weight. It is absolutely fine to eat chocolates until eaten in moderation." Excess of any processed food would anyway lead to weight gain.

Myth 4: Chocolate Causes Headaches.

Chocolate is often seen as a culprit for migraines and headaches; however, various studies have found no link between the two. Dr. Anju agrees, "There's no connection between the both. If you're prone to migraine then it might trigger but apart from this, it doesn't.

Myth 5: White Chocolate Is Chocolate

White chocolate is not really a chocolate. It is known to be a confection made with the help of cocoa butter, milk solids and vanilla.

Chocolate lovers, rejoice and indulge in a chocolate bar right away!

1. An overview
The never-ending debate on whether chocolates can lower the risk of heart diseases has always pushed the researchers to reveal something new and this time there is a good news for all the chocolate lovers. According to a study, eating up to 100 g of chocolate a day can actually lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. The flavonoid antioxidants in dark chocolate have long been hailed for their supposed beneficial effect in protecting against certain conditions. Also, even a study published recently suggested that eating chocolate (in a controlled manner) could prevent obesity and diabetes too. Read below to know the bright side of chocolates.

2. Linked to health benefits
According to researchers, people who eat chocolate daily typically have a younger age; lower weight, waist-to-hip ratio, systolic blood pressure and inflammatory proteins; less chances of having diabetes and have more physical stamina. All of these add up to a "favourable" cardiovascular disease (CVD ) risk profile. Also, eating more chocolate is linked to higher energy intake and a diet that consists of more fat and carbs, and less protein and alcohol.

3. Milk chocolate is also a bliss
According to a study people who preferred milk chocolates too showed healthy heart symptoms. This may indicate that not only flavonoids but other compounds too, possibly related to milk constituents, such as calcium and fatty acids, may provide an explanation for the observed association.

4. Verdict
Though the studies have portrayed chocolate as a protagonist in saving you from all heart-related diseases, before you rush out to stock up on chocolate, it is important to understand the fact that balance is the key to good health. The benefit and risk related to chocolate intake is totally dependent on the risk profile of an individual, including baseline weight, lipid profile and the amount of chocolate eaten.

मेडिटेशनचं वेगवेगळे प्रकार तुम्ही ऐकले असतील किंवा काही लोकांनी वेगवेगळ्या प्रकारचे मेडिटेशन केलेही असतील. पण कधी तुम्ही चॉकलेट मेडिटेशन केलंय का? खरंतर असं मेडिटेशन आहे हे फारच कमी लोकांना माहीत असावं. पण तणावात असलेल्या लोकांसाठी चॉकलेट मेडिटेशन हे चांगलं असल्याचं सांगितलं जातं. चॉकलेट मेडिटेशनने तणाव दूर होऊन शरीराला आराम मिळतो. हे मेटिटेशन करण्याची पद्धतही वेगळी आहे. चला जाणून घेऊ चॉकलेट मेडिटेशनचे काय फायदे होतात.

काय आहे चॉकलेट मेडिटेशन?

चॉकलेट मेडिटेशनमध्ये एका चॉकलेटच्या तुकड्याचा वापर केला जातो. खासकरुन डार्क चॉकलेटचा वापर केला जातो. या मेडिटेशनदरम्यान चॉकलेट खाण्यासोबतच तुम्ही त्याचा सुगंधही फील करु शकता. या मेडिटेशनन वजन कमी करण्यासही मदत मिळते. तसेच याने शरीर आणि मेंदूला शांतता मिळते. त्यासोबतच याने शारीरिक आणि मानसिक तणावही कमी होऊन व्यक्तीमध्ये एक सकारात्मक बदल बघायला मिळतो.

कसे करतात हे मेडिटेशन?

चॉकलेट मेडिटेशन करण्यासाठी तुमच्याकडे चॉकलेटचा एक मोठा तुकडा हवा. सर्वातआधी मोठा श्वास घ्या आणि शरीराच्या मांसपेशी शांत करा. याने शरीर हलकं होईल. नंतर डोळे बंद करा. आता चॉकलेटच्या सुगंधाला फील करा. असे मानले जाते की, चॉकलेटमध्ये जवळपास ३०० फ्लेवर असतात. आता एक छोटासा तुकडा खाऊन त्यांच्या फ्लेवरच आनंद घ्या. चॉकलेट खाल्ल्याने तुमच्या तोंडात एक प्रकारचं सेन्सेशन होतं. या सेन्सेशनवर लक्ष केंद्रीत करा. हळूहळू पूर्ण चॉकलेट खा.

शेवटी काही सेकंदासाठी थांबा आणि मोठा श्वास घ्या. नंतर सामान्य स्थितित परत या. हे केल्यानंतर तुम्हाला तणाव कमी झाल्यासारखे वाटेल, मानसिक शांती आणि आनंद मिळेल. कारण चॉकलेटमध्ये असलेले तत्व मूड फ्रेश करण्यासोबतच आनंद सुद्धा देतात.

Dr. Ravindra Borade
Dr. Ravindra Borade
BAMS, Allergist Ayurveda, 11 yrs, Pune
Dr. Vijay Hatankar
Dr. Vijay Hatankar
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Ayurveda Family Physician, 21 yrs, Pune
Dr. Piyush  Jain
Dr. Piyush Jain
MS - Allopathy, Ophthalmologist Pediatric Ophthalmologist, 5 yrs, Pune
Dr. Abhinandan J
Dr. Abhinandan J
BAMS, Ayurveda Family Physician, 1 yrs, Pune
Dr. Annasaheb Labade
Dr. Annasaheb Labade
BAMS, Ayurveda Family Physician, 19 yrs, Pune