When we think of healthy foods, chocolate does not make our list of healthy foods. However, the most popular and scrumptious treat, dark chocolate, often makes its way into the list of healthy food. So is dark chocolate healthy? It comprises numerous substances which are beneficial for good health and especially a healthy heart. Dark chocolates are rich in disease-fighting antioxidants, which prevent free radicals. Thus, to learn more on this topic in this article, we will discuss the health benefits and also discuss whether it is good for you?
Is Dark Chocolate Good for you?
Numerous research studies have found that among the varieties of chocolate, dark chocolate is the healthiest variety. It is suitable for consumption by people and does not pose any health risk. Dark chocolate’s health benefits comprise reducing blood pressure and also significantly reducing the risk of heart-related diseases. In numerous research studies, it has also been found that consuming a small portion of it daily tends to be beneficial for health.
The Darker The Chocolate, The More Beneficial it is!
As it is beneficial for your health, you can easily consume it without any worries. And darker the dark chocolate more beneficial it is for your health. It comprises the highest amount of cocoa flavanols. The only difference between dark chocolate and milk chocolate is that milk chocolate does not consist of flavanols, whereas it consists of flavanols. Similarly, the percentage of cocoa is also very important for health, and dark chocolates have a high percentage of cocoa. You can prefer to consume dark chocolate, which has more than 70% of cocoa, as they tend to be highly beneficial for health. But more will be the cocoa and flavanols, and more bitter will it be. Hence, you can prefer to take a small bite of it initially and then slowly melt it in your mouth.
Now above, we have answered the question is dark chocolate good for you? Now let us have a brief look at the various health benefits.
If you can get dark chocolate with a good amount of cocoa content, then it is very nutritious. It comprises a good amount of soluble fiber and is also loaded with numerous minerals. It has been found that a 100 grams bar of dark chocolate contains 75-85% of cocoa, 11 grams of fiber, 67% of iron, 98% of manganese, 89% of copper, 58% of magnesium, etc. Apart from this, it also has a good amount of potassium, selenium, zinc, etc., which tend to be beneficial for the body. Moreover, it also contains some amount of stimulants like theobromine and caffeine, which is also good for health.
Enhances blood flow & lowers blood pressure
Another major dark chocolate benefit is that it significantly increases the blood flow in the body and also reduces blood pressure which is beneficial for sound health. The flavanols in it tend to stimulate the endothelium, which is the lining of arteries, to produce more nitric oxide, and this nitric oxide works by sending signals to arteries to relax and thereby helping in lowering the resistance to blood flow and also helps reduce the blood pressure. Moreover, in numerous research studies, it has also been found that the cocoa contained in it improves the blood flow in the body.
A powerful source of antioxidants
The dark chocolate health benefits for the body are immense as they comprise antioxidants. It comprises several organic compounds which are active biologically and also function as antioxidants; these include flavonols, polyphenols, catechins, etc. Similarly, in one research study, it has also been found that cocoa and dark chocolate have enhanced antioxidant activity. The antioxidants present in dark chocolate help in fighting the inflammation in our body and also protect the cells from any damage by the free radicals.
Reduces the heart disease risk
One of the major dark chocolate benefits is that daily consumption helps in reduces heart-related diseases. The compounds in it tend to be highly protective against the oxidation of LDL. It causes less cholesterol to get lodged into the arteries, thereby significantly lowering heart-related diseases. Moreover, it is also found that consuming dark chocolate twice or more than twice a week reduces the risk of calcified plaque in the arteries by more than 32%. It is further found that a drastic reduction in heart-related diseases is also found among the people who consume dark chocolate daily in comparison to the people who consume it less frequently.
Improves the functioning of the brain
Dark chocolate also helps in improving the functioning of the human brain. As it comprises a high amount of flavanols, it increases the blood flow to the brain. Similarly, the cocoa amount of dark chocolate enhances the cognitive function of the brain of people with mild cognitive impairment.
Protects your skin from sun damage
Last but not least, another major dark chocolate health benefit is that it provides your skin protection from sun damage. The flavanols enhance the blood flow to the skin and also increases skin intensity and skin hydration.
Thus, above, we have answered the question is dark chocolate healthy? And found it comprises numerous health benefits. We have also mentioned the various health benefits, and we can reach the conclusion that you can seamlessly consume it without any worry.