Dark Chocolate has So Many Health Benefits!

Did you know that dark chocolate has so much to offer? It is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health. Made from the seed of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet.

Studies show that dark chocolate can improve your health and lower the risk of heart disease. It has various properties like:

  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Insulin resistance

Dark chocolate consists of some the ingredients like cocoa liquor, powdered milk, and sugar. Milk powder is not used to make dark chocolate. Most dark chocolate has a cocoa content between 35 and 85 percent. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the stronger the taste. Some people find the darkest of chocolate to have a bitter taste, while others appreciate its lower sugar content.

Nutrition

Quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content is actually quite nutritious. It contains a decent amount of soluble fiber and is loaded with minerals.

A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70–85% cocoa contains:

  • 11 grams of fiber
  • 67% of the RDI for iron
  • 58% of the RDI for magnesium
  • 89% of the RDI for copper
  • 98% of the RDI for manganese
  • It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium

But of course, you cannot consume a hundred-gram bar in a single day. Also, come with 600 calories and moderate amounts of sugar.

For this reason, dark chocolate is best consumed in moderation.

Dark Chocolate Benefits

Loaded With antioxidants

Meaning dark chocolate has to offer various benefits like:

  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • cancer
  • eye diseases

Lowers blood pressure and Improves Blood flow

The bioactive compounds in cocoa may improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure.

Raises HDL and Protects LDL From Oxidation

Dark chocolate improves several important risk factors for disease. It lowers the susceptibility of LDL to oxidative damage while increasing HDL and improving insulin sensitivity.

May Reduce Heart Disease Risk

Studies show a drastic reduction in heart disease risk among those who consume the most chocolate due to the components present in them.

May Protect Your Skin from the Sun

The bioactive compounds in dark chocolate may also be great for your skin. The flavonols can protect against sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin, and increase skin density and hydration.

Could Improve Brain Function

Cocoa or dark chocolate may improve brain function by increasing blood flow. It also contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine. Also, the flavanols present in dark chocolate may enhance neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself, particularly in response to injury and disease.

Weight loss

People who are in the process of losing weight often get chocolate cravings. In that case, dark chocolate is advantageous, though its weight loss properties are not yet proved.

Downside and Precautions

Although dark chocolate contains beneficial antioxidants and minerals, it is usually also high in sugar and fat, which makes it a very calorie-dense food. People should, therefore, try to limit their consumption of dark chocolate to avoid consuming too many calories, fats, and sugars. Sugar content varies among chocolate manufacturers, so it is advisable to check the nutrition label. 20–30 g of dark chocolate per day is optimum for healthy consumption.

Takeaway

Dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants and minerals, and it generally contains less sugar than milk chocolate.

Some research suggests that dark chocolate may help lower the risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation and insulin resistance, and improve brain function.

People who are interested in adding dark chocolate to their diet should keep in mind that it is high in fat and calories, so moderation is key.

References: Link1 | Link2 | Link3 

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