We are all aware that children are often attracted to sugary treats - lollies, cakes, candies, chocolates, etc. Most of the time the cause of cavities is these layers of sugar on the thin enamel baby teeth. These sugar mixes with bacteria and acids, causing toothaches and scary trips to the dentist.
Kids grow up knowing that these treats are generally bad, not just for their teeth but for their health. Remember when your mum told you that these sweets caused tummy aches, too? Elders think that chocolates = sugar = cavities. Therefore, we must avoid consuming them.
But as time goes by, we learned that there are actual chocolate benefits. Through time dentists and even doctors agree that there are health benefits from chocolates, particularly on our teeth. You just need to choose the right type of chocolate.
Health Benefits of Chocolates
There have been many recent studies across the globe that revealed that chocolates are actually helpful and effective in fighting cavities, plaque, and tooth decay in the mouth. Moreover, there are claims that compounds in chocolate may be more effective at fighting decay than fluoride.
Research proves that compounds in the cocoa bean’s (main ingredient of chocolate bars) husk have an antibacterial effect on our body. Moreover, it helps fight plaque. This fact makes chocolate less harmful than other sweet food your dentist warns you about.
This cocoa bean husk component is known to be theobromine, which was shown to have a good remineralization potential. Thus, it is claimed to be better than fluoride.
Aside from theobromine, cocoa beans have other components that cause tons of chocolate benefits.
Magic of Dark Chocolates
Among the three classic types of chocolate, dark chocolate is the closest to a cocoa bean. It contains a higher percentage of cocoa products and less of sugar and other ingredients. Cocoa has tannins. This component gives dark chocolate it's slightly bitter taste and is responsible for the treat’s dark pigments. Tannins also help in preventing cavities by inhibiting bacteria from sticking to your teeth.
Another component present in coco is polyphenols. This limits the effects of bacteria. They work to neutralize the microorganisms that cause bad breath, prevent gum infections, and fight tooth decay. Lastly, flavonoids which work to slow tooth decay, among other things.
The high percentage of cocoa present in dark chocolate makes it a healthier option among other types of chocolates.
Aside from better oral health, dark chocolates can also reduce heart disease risks. Compounds found in dark chocolate have less cholesterol, thus, lower heart risks. Moreover, some observational studies show that there is a reduction in heart disease risk among those who consume the most chocolate.
Probably most people already know that consuming chocolates can better brain functions.
Cocoa may significantly improve cognitive function particularly for elderly people with mental impairment. Compounds present in cocoa may improve verbal fluency and several risk factors for disease, as well.
Additionally, cocoa contains substances like caffeine and theobromine, which may be a key reason why it can improve brain function in the short term.
Maybe you did not know that cocoa can also hydrate your skin and protect it from the harmful sun. This health benefit is one of the reasons why most cosmetics companies use cocoa butter for their products.
Chocolate Effects on Your Teeth and Overall Health
Some oral health experts recommend eating chocolate in one sitting and eating the right amount of chocolates after meals because this reduces the number of acid attacks on your teeth.
However, despite the health benefits from chocolates, particularly dark chocolates, munching on these is not, in any way similar to eating a bowl of veggies.
Indeed cocoa and dark chocolates have some important health benefits but it is still not 100% healthy.
Dark chocolate should be treated like any other confection. It must be consumed in moderation because it still contains ample amounts of sugar and fat, each of which comes with its own set of health issues. Moreover, dark chocolate isn't exactly low in calories. The recommended intake is just 1 ounce per day.
Preventing Tooth Decay
You cannot simply blame chocolate manufacturers and retailers for your toothaches. You must also take a look at your overall dental hygiene.
Again, tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth turn sugar into acids. Those acids eat away at the surface of your teeth, causing decay and cavities. However, these damages can be prevented.
Start by cutting down on your sugar intake, watching what types of foods you eat, both sweet and savory. Yes, all types of food contribute to your cavities. So treating yourself with a piece of chocolate will cause no harm.
Moreover, you must ensure that you are brushing and flossing your teeth daily. It also helps to visit your dentist two times per year to identify oral problems and prevent the worst-case scenario.
After learning all these facts about chocolates, you can get your hands (and teeth) on some dark chocolate with less guilt from today. Allow yourself to enjoy what is arguably the most delicious but still beneficial food on the planet. Just remember to practice portion control to prevent health risks and damaged pearly whites.
Another thing, if you have a business and you want to give your customers better health benefits from your chocolate selection, you can always make it possible. There are chocolate wholesale suppliers that offer chocolates mixed with organic and local products creating a healthier treat.
You must be aware that most chocolates on the market are not healthy. Therefore, you must always choose those that are high-quality. However, these days, they are hard to find so when you finally find a store that offers only the premium chocolate products, make sure to buzz them and give yourself a better chocolate experience.
You must remember that chocolates were invented to make people happy, to boost their energy, and make days better. However, everything that is too much will only make things worse, therefore, you must always keep in mind that everything must be in moderation.