Could a chocolate a day keep the doctor away? It's important to eat healthy when you're pregnant, 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. It may be able to help avoid high blood pressure and 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. Chocolate can relieve your 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. There are useful nutrients in chocolate.
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.
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.