Should one eat chocolate during pregnancy? Most people might say no without the knowledge that chocolate can help promote the health of the unborn in various ways. Research has shown that chocolate is a great food to include when pregnant, due to the amazing benefits it provides. Below are just but a few of the benefits that chocolate gives to the pregnant woman, giving a lot of reasons why each and every woman should ensure that they get a bar or two every once in a while.
One of the benefits of chocolate, especially the dark variety is that it helps prevent pre-eclampsia. This is one of the causes of premature birth and is common in a lot of pregnant women. The main characteristics of this disease is that the pregnant woman tends to have a case of high blood pressure which may cause convulsions, blood clotting and even damage to the liver. Kidney failure has been reported as a result of pre-eclampsia. Thrombin content coming from the cocoa beans helps prevent pre-eclampsia with research showing that as much as 50% of women who consume chocolate have a lower chance of this condition occurring as the progress of pregnancy week by week is monitored.
Chocolate has also been shown to aid in the regulation of blood pressure. The cocoa beans which make the main raw material for making chocolate have thrombine which helps regulate blood pressure and hence aid dilation of blood vessels. This is a great benefit as most women report an above normal blood pressure, mainly because of the strain caused by the growing child.
If you want happy babies, you better eat up that chocolate. This is according to Finnish researchers who reported that even if the mother is stressed during pregnancy and they consume chocolate regularly, they give birth to babies who are jolly as opposed to the women who did not consume chocolate. The reason behind this is that the consumption of chocolate relieves stress of the pregnancy week by week. The said jolly babies were also quite responsive to their immediate environment as compared to the control group. The difference was attributed to the chemicals in chocolate and one in particular stood out, phenylethylamine which is said to be contained in the chocolate and passed from the mother into the womb through the umbilical cord.
Chocolate has also been shown to contain antioxidants which are great for the body. When pregnant, there is a high probability that free radicals in the body may cause ailments. It is the work of the antioxidants to restore normal balance and health in the body.
Chocolate is not only rich in antioxidants but flavonoids as well which promote good body and healthy lifestyle. These are also great for pregnant women as they help boost their immunity, increasing the chance of giving birth to very healthy babies. The flavonoids and antioxidants contained in cocoa have also been shown to fight cancer as well as aid heart health.
Chocolate also comes rich in magnesium, iron and is high in protein. These nutrients are quite crucial in the development of the brain of the fetus and blood cells as well. These benefits posed by chocolate are quite important for pregnant women as every woman dreams of giving birth to a healthy baby. When it comes to preventing heart disease in the newborn, chocolate promotes heart health. As a rule, the darker the chocolate, the better the heart health of the individual.
If after reducing cholesterol levels, well, chocolate can help pregnant women do just that. For the best results, it is recommended that the chosen chocolate be low in sugar and fat. When chocolate which is dark is consumed at a moderate pace as the progress of the pregnancy week by week goes, it is quite ideal for the best results.
Last but not least is that one can consume chocolate for the relief from stress. Pregnancy by itself is a condition that is surely bound to cause a lot of stress to the woman. This is because the body is rapidly changing and there is very little time to understand the said changes, so stress results. Moderate consumption of chocolate as the progress of pregnancy week by week can help relieve stress.
For the best results, moderate consumption of the chocolate should be practiced throughout the pregnancy. Overdoing the chocolate may negate all the gains that stand to be made.