If you've always kept off chocolates thinking it will add to your waistline, you've thought wrong. According to a lot of academic research, cocoa not just helps fight depression but helps you lose weight too. We asked the experts and here's what they had to say.
Boosts your Metabolism
Fibre in cocoa increases your metabolism and enables your body to burn more calories each day. It thus helps you lose weight. A good reason to drink that cup of hot chocolate then!
"Cocoa in itself is low in calories and is a great ingredient to boost your metabolism," says Mumbai-based dietician, Dr. Shilpa Mittal. So it's not such a bad idea to pop a piece of dark chocolate as a dessert. "Cocoa products are best consumed during winter when your metabolic rate dips," says Mumbai-based dietician Jyoti Lalwani
Beat that craving with cocoa
Feeling low? Reaching out for that bar of chocolate may not be a bad idea. "A major component in cocoa is Theobromine, that makes you feel satiated and prevents you from over eating," says Lalwani.
Theobromine or the 'feel good' chemical in cocoa will not just perk you up in an instant, but will suppress your cravings for other sinful indulgences (read: chips, pizzas, fries). "Cocoa contains caffeine that lowers your appetite too. So while you consume cocoa or dark chocolates while stressed, you're also fighting your craving for more food," says Dr. Mittal.
Stabilizes Blood Sugar
"Cocoa is released slowly in to the blood stream which results in slow release of insulin. And thus stabilizes blood sugar levels," says Lalwani. This makes cocoa safe to be consumed by diabetics as well.
Cocoa contains higher levels of antioxidants than in red wine or green tea. Antioxidants improve your digestion. "If the food you eat is not digested properly, your body tends to accumulate toxins which lowers your metabolism," she explains. So, next time you think that plate of chat did not go well with your tummy, pop in a piece of dark chocolate.
Do you know of any more health benefits of cocoa? Leave us a comment and let us know!