Could a chocolate a day keep the doctor away? Eating healthy when you're pregnant is important, and chocolate can be a part of your healthy balanced diet.
Chocolate has a lot of general health benefits, some of which are specifically beneficial for pregnant women and their unborn children.
Here are just a few of the benefits!
1. May Help Avoid High Blood Pressure & Preeclampsia
Studies have shown that dark chocolate may be able to reduce the chance of pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is a fairly common condition during pregnancy that can lead to high blood pressure and, potentially, premature birth. Though it does happen fairly often, it can also be very dangerous, depending on how premature the child is.
Overall, dark chocolate is often used to help reduce blood pressure due to the inclusion of an ingredient known as "theobromine." Theobromine dilates blood vessels.
2. Relieve Stress
It's well-known that chocolate releases hormones into your brain that can make you happier. Stress during pregnancy can introduce a whole host of issues, and it's never very pleasant!
Eating chocolate can help reduce stress, thereby improving issues such as anxiety and worry. It's even believed it may have some impact on the baby!
3. Useful Nutrients
Good chocolate, mostly dark chocolate, actually contains a lot of nutritional value apart from pure caloric intake. Chocolate contains antioxidants, which are believed to improve whole health and ward against certain types of cancer.
Chocolate also contains magnesium, iron, and other nutrients that pregnant women commonly need. Thus, chocolate doesn't have to be a "guilty pleasure," and the darker the chocolate is, the more likely it is to be healthy for the mother.
4. May Reduce the Risk of Gestational Diabetes
Some studies have suggested that consuming dark chocolate while pregnant may help lower the risk of gestational diabetes, which is a condition that affects blood sugar levels during pregnancy.
More research is needed for this particular benefit, but a little dark chocolate can’t hurt!
5. Improve Blood Flow
Dark chocolate contains flavonoids associated with improved blood flow and vascular health. Good blood flow is important during pregnancy to support the fetus and prevent complications due to reduced blood flow.
6. Mood Enhancement
Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is a compound that can stimulate the release of endorphins. This can improve moods and temporarily boost moods during pregnancy, particularly for women experiencing hormonal fluctuations or mood swings.
Enjoy a Little Bliss With Legacy Chocolates
Naturally, chocolate should always be consumed in moderation. When pregnant, gestational diabetes and other sugar-related issues are a concern, so doctors should frequently be consulted. Further, when eating chocolate, quality chocolate matters. Grocery store chocolates tend to be mostly sugar or corn syrup.
Legacy Chocolates in Minnesota is committed to only the best quality chocolate with high cocoa content, nutritional value, and exquisite taste. Our handcrafted chocolates are perfect for you or a loved one that needs a little pick-me-up. Shop Online Today or stop in our store located in Downtown St. Paul in the historic Pioneer Endicott Building.
For more information, give us a call at 651-340-5252 or send us a message on our website.