Is Chocolate Good For Pregnant Women?

Most people are of the opinion that chocolate is not good for pregnant women as it contains caffeine that inhibits the absorption of iron.

Studies have surprisingly revealed that dark chocolate on the other hand is actually beneficial for pregnant women. A daily intake of dark chocolate protects pregnant women from experiencing high blood pressure related problems.

The good quality ones leads to a much lower chance of contracting pre-eclampsia that causes cardiovascular complications like hypertension. Dark chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine that induces vasodilation, stimulates the heart and is a diuretic. It also contains magnesium that helps in reducing hypertension. Magnesium is also required in high amounts by pregnant women as it helps in the development of the fetal brain. Flavonoids contained in it have powerful anti-oxidant properties. Flavonoids are plant compounds and help in building immunity and contain anti-carcinogens. In the context of pregnant women, flavonoids help in preventing pre-eclampsia. Dark chocolate is rich in the flavonol, epitechin. Epitechin is related to high levels of prostacyclin. Pre-eclampsia is caused by low levels of prostacyclin. This is how they can help in reducing the possibility of pre-eclampsia.

The darker the chocolate, the healthier it is. Sweeter chocolates contain lesser quantities of theobromine and are therefore less beneficial. Both unsweetened cocoa and dark chocolate start out being healthy but the concentration of flavonoids reduces when milk, water or sugar is added. This is why you should cut down on the consumption of dairy products if you are eating them at the same time as dark chocolate. Milk essentially negates the health benefits of dark chocolate.

Research has also shown that when pregnant women eat them they also pass on the benefits to their babies. Researchers have found a connection between mothers who ate dark chocolate while they were pregnant and the happiness quotient of their babies. They claim that women who ate chocolate gave birth to happier babies.

Caffeine is present even in it although theorbromine is contained in higher quantities. As a result, the benefits of theobromine outweigh the effects of caffeine.

This does not however mean that pregnant women can binge on them. Excessive consumption may lead to weight problems and other health disorders. The ideal intake quantity is one good quality bar after lunch or supper. This is the equivalent of one cup of tea of tea brewed for two minutes, in terms of the cardiovascular health benefits.

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