The term “healthy chocolate” doesn’t roll off the tongue when you’re making the decision between milk or dark. In fact, health isn’t usually one of your considerations. Well, chocolate lovers finally have something to truly celebrate — the health benefits of dark chocolate.
Now, this is health news every chocolate fanatic loves to read about. Studies have shown that one ounce of dark chocolate not only brings chocolate bliss but also has some seriously positive effects.
Who Knew Dark Chocolate was a Superfood?!
Dark chocolate is high in cocoa beans, which are rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids are a high source of antioxidants. These disease-fighting agents attack the free radicals in your body, fighting the deterioration of cells. Some view antioxidants as a sort of magic bullet for longevity. Good sources of antioxidants include apples, onions, almonds, red wine, and dark chocolate.
Every day, your immune system is bombarded with free radicals through normal bodily processes like breathing or environmental contaminants like car exhaust or cigarette smoke. However, consuming foods like dark chocolate, which is high in potent antioxidants, helps protect cells from free radicals by removing them.
Basically, eating dark chocolate provides a natural remedy for common health concerns and risk factors. For some antioxidant-loaded dark chocolate try Ooh Ahh Almond.
Stunning Health Benefits of Eating Chocolate
1. Rich in Nutrients
Dark chocolate contains 50 – 90% of cocoa solids; whereas, milk chocolate has only 10 – 50%. The higher the cocoa contents the higher levels you have of flavanols and other healthy nutrients like iron, copper, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus.
Also, dark chocolate has no milk products and less sugar than white chocolate; making the flavanol-rich cocoa healthy eating. Not to mention the fatty acid of dark chocolate is excellent. The fats are mostly saturated and monounsaturated with a high dose of fiber.
There’s no doubt that the ingredients in dark chocolate are highly nutritious.
2. Lower Blood Sugar Levels with Dark Chocolate
A small amount of dark chocolate, packed with good-for-you components helps control blood sugar levels. Research shows that the antioxidants in cocoa powder help the body use insulin more efficiently, causing lower blood sugar levels. This results in less insulin resistance, which is common in Type 2 Diabetes.
3. Reduces the Risk of Cancer
One big health benefit of dark chocolate is that it may lower the risk of cancer. Since dark chocolate contains phytochemicals with antioxidant properties, it has long been thought of as a way to prevent cancer.
The free radicals that negatively affect the body by becoming an agent for cancer-building cells may be reduced by chocolate consumption. Also, since dark chocolate boosts levels of certain chemicals in the brain, endorphins, and serotonin, the sweet stuff can also lift a cancer patient’s mood.
4. Helps Prevent Heart Disease
Due to its antioxidant power, dark chocolate could have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. Heart health depends on different factors, but one risk is low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Also known as “bad cholesterol,” it forms a plaque on the artery walls. Removing LDL lowers blood pressure and boosts blood flow to the brain and heart; ultimately improving heart health and reducing cardiovascular disease.
5. Dark Chocolate Improves Blood Flow
According to a study published in the Journal for the American Heart Association, dark chocolate is naturally anti-inflammatory, improving blood flow throughout the body and to the brain. Chronic inflammation leads to weight gain and disease. The main reason this occurs is that the raw cacao has nitric oxide, which opens up arteries and increases blood flow throughout the body.
6. Dark Chocolate Encourages Weight Loss
Ever since the Mayans and Aztecs discovered chocolate, people have been looking for a way to lose weight. While there’s no easy fix, moderate amounts of dark chocolate can encourage weight loss.
Dark chocolate helps to control appetite and reduce cravings because it helps balance out blood sugar due to its rich-flavanols.
One thing to keep in mind when purchasing dark chocolate is not only whether it’s over 70% dark chocolate but also the amount of sugar in the ingredients. Look for dark chocolate high in cocoa content and low in sugar. Chuao Chocolatier has a melt-in-your-mouth dark chocolate bar called triple nut temptation that will do the trick.
7. Helps Protect Against the Sun
One way to justify your intake is to think of it like you’re saving money. Instead of spending money on fancy sunscreen, treat yourself with a delectable square. Pop in a bite before hitting the beach knowing that you’re protecting your skin. Just make sure you eat it all before the dark chocolate melts.
8. Improves Brain Function
Everyone at some point in their life wants to improve cognition; whether it’s remembering things better or wanting to pass an important test. But one piece of medical advice you might want to “remember” is to eat more chocolate. It all goes back to the flavanols (rich in antioxidants) in dark chocolate.
One antioxidant-related benefit that could happen while you opt for dark chocolate is the prevention of age-related memory decline.
9. Of Course Dark Chocolate Reduces Stress!
Everyone has their happy food. When you’re happy, you tend to feel less stress. A new study shows that people who rated themselves as highly stressed had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol after eating chocolate every day for a few weeks.
This is primarily to do with the presence of antioxidants called polyphenols in dark chocolate. So not only does the prospect of indulging in the bitter goodness of dark chocolate bring joy, but there’s also the real possibility that it will reduce your stress and increase your overall happiness in the long-run. This is one healthy recipe for success.
Would you consider dark chocolate a superfood?
Dark chocolate is a true superfood with surprising yet delicious benefits. Both men’s and women’s health can benefit from improved brain cognition to the reduced risk of cancer.