If your diet consists of foods loaded with diabetes causing sweets and sugar, then a bite of dark chocolate might leave you running for the sink trying to wash the bitter taste from one’s mouth. However, all things are relative. Once you give up such things as candy and sodas your taste buds will change. You are more able to pick up on the deeper rich flavors and sweet subtleties that real food has to offer. While we will talk about the many health benefits of eating dark chocolate, is meant to be consumed in small quantities as a treat. We feel that the perfect balance of sweet, bitter, and health hovers around 70% cacao. There are few things that bring me as much mouth pleasure as a square of dark chocolate.
Chocolate Is Actually Nutritious
I can’t even begin to count the number of times I have been told to control my love for chocolates, but this is not what I got to hear when I began using the dark stuff for health purposes. It is high in iron, fiber, magnesium and many other minerals. While 100 grams of this chocolate yields 11g fiber, 67% of iron, 89% copper and 98% magnesium as per our RDA, it also contains 600 calories. We need to go slow on it.
Full of Antioxidants
The high amount of antioxidants in the dark chocolate is very potent when it comes to neutralizing the free radicals in our body. It contains a wide variety of antioxidants such as polyphenols, catechins, flavonols, and much more, which are higher in content than most foods we eat nowadays.
Good for the Heart
The antioxidants, flavonols, have been clinically proven to be good for our heart, and are effective when it comes to managing blood pressure levels. Moreover, they reduce the chances of blood clotting, which may lead to stroke and ultimately death. Against contrary belief, the research also finds that dark chocolate reduces the chances of heart issues in the future without being a problem for those who already suffer from cardiovascular issues.
Regulates the Ratio of Good and Bad Cholesterol
Apart from being good for our health and heart, the nutrients found in the dark chocolate also help with cholesterol in our body.
- It raises the levels of HDL in men
- It lowers the total oxidized LDL in the blood, which reacts with free radicals to become reactive on their own
A study was conducted on a group of men and women for over a week on the effect dark chocolate had on their cholesterol levels. It was concluded that it helps improve the lipid profiles in both men and women while managing to lower the inflammation in women only. It also lowers the reactivity of platelets in men and women. Further studies showed that having dark chocolate for two weeks can lower bad cholesterol levels by 7.5%.
Helps Improve Brain Functions
Do you suffer from lack of focus and poor memory retention? Well, then the dark chocolate will actually be good for you, and who knows you might come to like the taste of it as well. The flavonols in the dark cocoa help improve the blood flow to the gray matter of the brain which is responsible for creating memories and improving the cognitive function of the brain. In the case where conditions of a lack of flow to the cerebrum, flavonols are effective there as well. Regular intake of flavonol-rich dark chocolate can improve the cognitive responses in the elderly who suffer from mental impairment.
Dark chocolate is not only good for the heart and the brain but has also been found to be effective in fighting off cancer. It is considered as one of the most powerful cancer-fighting foods that we know of today, and the fact that it neutralizes free radicals make it an even stronger candidate. The studies are still underway, but even with the fewer numbers of research that we have to suggest this, there is no harm in trying it for our health.
Makes Your Skin Better
If all the benefits mentioned above were not enough to convince you, then we have one more you might have a hard time ignoring. Dark chocolate does wonders for our skin and actually makes it look healthier and better. It protects it against any sun damage and is good for increasing the density of the skin. Moreover, it improves the hydration levels and blood flows to the skin to make it look better. So, if you are planning a trip to the beach don’t forget to pack yourself a bar of dark chocolate.
These are just some of the many benefits of dark chocolate. Americans on average, spend around $75 billion on chocolate alone every year. Make the right choice, switch to the version which is actually good for your health. Don’t forget to leave your feedback for us in the comments below and ideas on how we can make it a part of our diet without damaging our taste buds for life.
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