(NaturalNews) There seems to be great reasons why pregnant women should treat themselves with chocolate. This is because these luscious treats are found to improve a pregnant woman's condition by preventing certain complications including pre-eclampsia. According to studies, chocolate can not only relieve a pregnant woman's stress levels but also makes happier babies.
Dark chocolate can help prevent pre-eclampsia
Pre-eclampsia is one among many causes of premature birth which also claims the lives of many babies. This condition occurs in pregnant women and is often characterized by high blood pressure. When a pregnant woman's blood pressure rises, this can lead to convulsions. It may also lead to blood clotting as well as cause damage in the liver. In some cases, pre-eclampsia may also cause the kidneys to fail from functioning.
According to the reports from the Annals of Epidemiology however, the theobromine content in cocoa can help prevent the condition. Research from Yale University concludes after questioning dietary habits of 2,500 pregnant women that those who eat chocolate regularly are 50 percent less likely to suffer from pre-eclampsia during the pregnancy.
Chocolate aids in proper blood pressure regulation
Cocoa, which is used to make chocolate, contains theobromine which aids in proper regulation of blood pressure among pregnant women. This component in chocolate can help maintain blood pressure by aiding in the dilation of the blood vessels.
Chocolate makes happy babies
Researchers in Finland also claim that chocolate can affect a baby's behavior. The New Scientist magazine reports that stressed pregnant women who indulge in chocolate are more likely to give birth to happier and livelier babies. This was concluded after asking 300 pregnant women. The researchers observed great differences between pregnant women who ate chocolate during pregnancy to relieve stress and those who didn't.
The expectant mothers who snacked on chocolate during pregnancy report that their babies are lively and happy. The babies also respond well to new situations as compared to the babies of women who did not eat chocolate during pregnancy. And this result is linked to the chemicals contained in chocolate, particularly phenylethylamine. It is believed to be passed on from the mother to the child in the womb.
Chocolate contains good antioxidants
These sweet treats are rich in flavonoids which are believed to contain potent antioxidants. Pregnant women can benefit from the antioxidant properties of flavonoids specifically in improving immunity. It can also fight of certain cancers and aid in the cardiovascular system.
Chocolate has iron, magnesium and other nutritional contents
Magnesium is known to help significantly with fatty acid metabolism. Women can benefit from these nutrients contained in chocolate during the duration of their pregnancy.
Chocolate can prevent heart disease
Dark chocolate's ability to prevent heart disease can be attributed to its antioxidant properties. As a general rule, the higher quality and the darker the chocolate is, the better it is for pregnant women, and for everyone else for that matter.
Chocolate can help pregnant women manage weight and reduce cholesterol levels
Pregnant women should choose the kind of chocolate that is low in fat and sugar. Dark chocolate, when consumed moderately, can help pregnant women by reducing cholesterol.
Chocolate relieves stress
The bottom line is chocolate is comforting and can no doubt improve a pregnant woman's mood. However, anything in excess can be harmful rather than beneficial. So, pregnant women should consume chocolate in moderation.