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World Chocolate Day 2021: Does Dark Chocolate Really Help Beat the COVID-19 Stress?

(Representational Photo: Shutterstock)

(Representational Photo: Shutterstock)

World Chocolate Day 2021: Dark chocolates’ characteristic properties being antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial aid in alleviating hypertension, thereby ensuring stress relief

July 7, 2021 marks the 12th year of the World or International Chocolate Day celebration. Though chocolates’ presence dates back to almost the 16th century, the decision to designate a day came in 2009.Introduced in 1550 in Europe, this popular dessert took the world by storm with its delectable taste in no time.

Various types of chocolates are enjoyed by people of almost all age groups. They are known to be a great means to uplift mood. Recently, the news of dark chocolate being touted as a way to curb anxieties related to Covid-19, has been surfacing.

Let’s find out more about this in detail on the occasion of World Chocolate Day:

Chocolate is delectable, and that’s a fact. Not only for its great flavor, but also for its superb health benefits and amazing ability to sweeten relationships, and any occasion of our lives. It won’t be far-fetched to say that they act as emotional sweeteners.

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Taking into account the above-mentioned aspect, in a time like this, where Covid-19 is taking a toll all over the world, use of chocolates is being promoted to deal with stress.

In a tweet, the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has suggested people to consume a regulated portion of chocolate ensuring that the piece contains 70 percent cocoa in it; in order to beat the stress due to the pandemic.

The thing is, several studies earlier had revealed that chocolates contain many health benefits. It was stated by researchers that having 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate every day for two weeks would lessen the levels of hormone cortisol as well as the fight-or-flight hormones called catecholamines.

This will inadvertently uplift mood, reduce blood pressure, enhance metabolism, and microbial activity in the gut. Dark chocolates’ characteristic properties being antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial aid in alleviating hypertension, thereby ensuring stress relief.

These yummy chocolates possess antioxidants, (theobromine), and are rich in phytonutrients, which serve as immunity boosters that protect the cells from free radicals.

The phytonutrients (chemical compounds) have the potential to tamper with specific enzymes or proteases in the virus. The flavanols and proanthocyanidins found in dark chocolate, were observed to have the ability to block the activity of the main protease (MPro) in the Covid-19 virus.

This as a result could slow or restrict the growth or spread of the virus and prevent the novel coronavirus from being transmitted.

The most important thing that must be kept in mind is that dark chocolates can serve as one of the immunity boosting food items, but shouldn’t be treated as the ‘only’ item to control stress. People need to follow a balanced diet, exercises proper intake of healthy food; and medicines as advised by doctors while undergoing Covid-19 treatment.

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first published:July 07, 2021, 08:31 IST