Top 10 Dark Chocolate Health Benefits
Chocolate is the ultimate comfort food, a fiery standby when in stress, a consolation source when life has let us down, and in times of positivity it acts a mood enhancer or a love inducer. But is it at all healthy? Scoffing tons of it, obviously not. But numerous times it has been medically proven in which chocolate — dark chocolate, which is to say dark chocolate, having a very high percentage of cocoa of almost up to seventy percent is healthy for us. With the advancement in research work, experts have concluded that chocolate is good for cardiovascular activities, blood circulation and brain, and suggestions have been made that in dire health challenges like autism, obesity, and diabetes it has been of great help. Here are ten scientifically proven health benefits of dark chocolate:
Dark Chocolate Nutrition Facts
Dark chocolate is filled with abundant nutrients necessary for the human body. It has natural health benefits similar to fruits and vegetables and contains vitamins and minerals in a large proportion. It contains proteins, saturated fat, calories, and vitamins like vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B9, vitamin K, calcium, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, iron, potassium, copper, and zinc. It holds the proper amount of soluble fiber which lowers the risk of cancer and heart disease and also controls the blood sugar level. The iron in the chocolate protects against anemia. The copper and potassium in dark chocolate help halt against stroke and certain cardiovascular disease. A 100 gm bar of a dark chocolate with 80% cocoa solids contains-
Energy – 2210 kJ/530 kcal
Fat – 46 g
Carbohydrate – 19 g
Protein – 11g
Salt – 0.08 g
Good for The Heart and Circulation
Recent studies have suggested that consumption of dark chocolate increases the flexibility of arteries thereby preventing white blood cells from sticking to the walls of the blood vessels and in turn preventing artery clogging. Thus it can be concluded that black chocolate is really beneficial in cleansing the blood vessels.
Dark Chocolate Reduces Blood Pressure
According to a research, it is found that eating a small piece of dark chocolate on a daily basis can help to reduce blood pressure/hypertension. Dark chocolate contains high cocoa content i.e., up to 50-80% which helps to improve several important cardiovascular risk factors and lowers blood pressure. Studies also demonstrated that intake of Cocoa flavanols improves the elasticity of blood vessels. The major function of the blood vessel is to transport blood throughout the body and amendment in blood vessels results in lowering blood pressure. Magnesium in chocolate has been considered as the essential ingredient which helps to reduces hypertension and regulates blood pressure. Additionally, it helps you to sleep by relaxing your muscle and reducing the stress hormone cortisol in your body.
Dark Chocolate Contains Antioxidants
One of the main attributes of dark chocolate is it carries high antioxidant content. Dark chocolate contains bioflavonoids (flavanols, polyphenols, theobromine) that help to protect cells against damage from free radicals. Free radicals or oxidative stress plays a dominant role in disease formation such as heart disease, cancer, dementia, eye degeneration, aging, memory loss etc. The Antioxidant source in the dark chocolate helps in counteracting the damage done by free radicals and as a consequence lower blood pressure, reduce stress, improve mood, boost memory, combat cancer, acts as an anti-aging treatment, improve the immune system, and even increase sex drive.
Cocoa consumption has helped to reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and raise levels of “good” cholesterol, potentially lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. The polyphenols in dark chocolate stimulate the production of specific proteins which are abundantly found in HDL cholesterol. At the same time, the polyphenols seem to multiply the development of LDL receptor, which then lowers the proportion of LDL cholesterol. Hence the review showed that consuming dark chocolate in a moderate amount can lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases HDL (good cholesterol).
Dark Chocolate is Great for Your Skin
Dark chocolates have significant beauty benefits. The flavonols in dark chocolate protect the skin against harmful UV rays. It develops blood flow to the skin and enhances skin density and aid hydration. It has also been shown to improve overall skin health by reducing stress hormones. Dark chocolate consists a series of potent antioxidants which protect the skin from free radical damage, softens and rejuvenates the skin. Magnesium in dark chocolate helps to vanish the fine lines and wrinkles, clear pimples, maintains moisture and relieves you from allergic skin conditions. Additionally, it is also used in a variety of skin care treatments such as facial masks, beauty creams, perfumes, lip balms/lipsticks, body soaps etc.
Dark Chocolate Can Help You Lose Weight
Chocolate can help you lose weight. Really??Neuroscientist Will Clower says a small square of good choc melted on the tongue 20 minutes before a meal triggers the hormones in the brain that says “I’m full”, cutting the amount of food you subsequently consume. Finishing a meal with the same small trigger could reduce subsequent snacking.Basically, dark chocolate contains an appropriate amount of fiber, which regulates your appetite level and lends you a feeling of satiety. It has an influential impact on body’s fatty acids and hence helps in reducing the digestion and absorbs body fats and carbohydrates.
It May Prevent Diabetes
It sounds mad, but cocoa has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. So dark chocolate in moderation – might delay or prevent the onset of diabetes. The most common type of diabetes is Type 2 diabetes in which the body does not produce enough insulin because of the failure of beta cells which produce insulin. Dark chocolate is a product made up of cocoa bean which is a good source of flavonoids that helps to reduce insulin resistance by helping cells to function properly and regain the ability to use body’s insulin efficiently. Cocoa in dark chocolate helps to control the sugar level as well as decrease the negative effects of Type 2 Diabetes. It also helps to regulate protein, enhance metabolism and prevents chronic inflammation. Along with these benefits, it also has a low glycaemic index and it will not cause a huge spike and crash in blood sugar level.
Chocolate is Good for The Brain
In older people memory loss is a common problem, Flavanols in good chocolate are thought to reduce memory loss, and the anti-inflammatory qualities of dark chocolate have been found to be beneficial in treating brain injuries such as concussion.
Chocolate Makes You Feel Better
Chocolate contains Phenylethylamine (PEA), which is the same chemical that your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release feel-good endorphins. As a chocolate lover I would also add that certain kinds of chocolate can be good for the soul: this is chocolate for which the raw materials have been grown with care by farmers who are properly rewarded for their work; then processed by people who take time and care in their work, and finished by chocolatiers who love what they do. It will not be mass-produced, and it may not be cheap. But it will be good for your heart and soul. Dark chocolate also contains chemical serotonin which is responsible for maintaining mood balance and lack of serotonin level may influence mood in the way of depression. Additionally, dark chocolate contains a little amount of caffeine which is generally very helpful in improving mood disorders.