Chocolate is obtained from seeds of the cocoa tree or cocoa beans. Chocolate is of two main types – milk chocolate and dark chocolate. And the healthier choice is the latter one. Milk chocolate consists of many calories, sugar, and fats, which isn’t beneficial to the body. But various health benefits of dark chocolate make it a favorite choice among people. Both are prepared similarly; the only difference is that milk chocolate consists of milk products and condensed milk, and loads of sugar make dark chocolate a healthier choice. Let’s know the health benefits of dark chocolate.
What Is Dark Chocolate Made Of Exactly?
The main components of dark chocolate are cocoa beans, sugar, an emulsifier, such as soy lecithin to preserve texture, and flavorings like vanilla, cranberry, figs, butterscotch, etc. Cocoa is a plant rich in minerals and antioxidants, making dark chocolate rich in minerals like iron and magnesium. It is also rich in antioxidants like flavonoids and polyphenols. These antioxidants neutralize the free radicals in our body, prevent oxidative stress, reduce the aging process, and prevent diseases like heart issues, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and certain eye diseases.
Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate
1. Dark Chocolate May Help In Weight Loss
Several studies say that eating chocolate 20 minutes before and after a meal can cut back your appetite by around 50 percent. Eating chocolate slows your digestion process, making you feel full for a longer time until the next meal. Studies have proven that children and adults who eat more chocolate have a lower body mass index. So I guess it’s a pretty tasty treat for those bulks on your body.
2. Dark Chocolate Is A Great Source Of Antioxidants
Dark chocolate consists of many free radicals, which are useful for the body. It has been seen that chocolate contains more free radicals as compared to many fruits. These antioxidants in dark chocolate slow the rate of destruction to the cells; thus, dark chocolate is beneficial to the body.
3. Dark Chocolate Is Nutritious
Dark chocolate is rich in fiber and minerals. It is rich in fiber, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. But while consuming dark chocolate, remember that it has many fats and calories, so moderation of quantity is a must. Fats in chocolate aren’t that bad; they are mainly saturated or monosaturated and have fewer polyunsaturated fats.
4. Dark Chocolate Might Improve Blood Flow And Circulation
Chocolate consists of flavanols. It makes the platelets less sticky and thus decreases the chances of you having a heart attack or stroke. Moreover chocolate dilates your blood vessels by stimulating nitric oxide thus lowering blood pressure and improving cardiovascular function. Polyphenols and theobromine in chocolate reduce the levels of LDL, cholesterol and increases levels of HDL thus making it more cardioprotective.
5. Dark Chocolate Is Good For Your Skin
The flavanols in dark chocolate can help your skin look better. The antioxidants prevent skin from UV damage, work against free radicals, and improve blood flow, giving your skin a lovely glow and making it wrinkle-free. The flavanols also improve skin hydration and thickness. So well, it makes you look prettier!
6. Dark Chocolate Might Make You Smarter
Researches also show that chocolates might improve your memory, lessen the reaction time and increase problem-solving skills by increasing blood flow to your brain. So, next time before you take a test, use it as good luck and as your brain booster. It also protects the brain from degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and improves cognition skills.
7. Anti-inflammatory Effects Of Dark Chocolate
Eating dark chocolate can reduce inflammation in your body and is also good for patients with arthritis. Dark chocolate is packed with flavanols, which are powerful antioxidants. These flavanols are responsible for keeping endothelial cells within arteries healthy; consequently, it reduces inflammation.
Is Dark Chocolate Safe For Diabetic Patients?
Although it is seen that dark chocolate helps to reduce insulin resistance and lowers blood sugar levels, but all the studies are not that evident. Thus, people with diabetes should be careful about the levels of chocolate they consume.
In A Nutshell
These various health benefits of dark chocolate will make you add it to your daily regimen. Consume 20-30 g of dark chocolate daily. But look at the nutritional values on the back of the back. Mostly, the chocolates these days aren’t good as they contain more sugar and fats, so try to look for something with at least 70% cocoa if you want to have all these benefits.