Dark Chocolate is one of those things that have been steadily growing in popularity. It is initially disliked by people who have eaten the sweet milk chocolates all their lives. However, they get used to the bitter taste and even start liking craving more of it. Clearly, for most, it is an acquired taste. That certainly doesn’t explain why Dark Chocolate sales are going to reach 84 billion dollars by 2026 or sooner.
Dozens of studies on Dark Chocolate have shown that it hasn’t many benefits for your health, including your brain, heart, skin, and arteries. Dark Chocolate reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. It prevents cognitive decline. It also significantly lowers cholesterol levels.
Did You Know!
Read on, to find out more about the fantastic health benefits of having bitter, Dark Chocolate.
Dark Chocolate Has the Potential to Stimulate the Functionality of the Brain
A significant component of dark Chocolate is cocoa. Cocoa is a stimulant that also contains theobromine and caffeine. That is why it improves cognitive functions like verbal fluency and several risk factors for disease, especially in older people with mental impairment.
Harvard Medical School stated that older people drinking two hot cups of dark Chocolate a day could prevent memory decline and keep the brain healthy. Cocoa also has lavado, which blocks nerve pathways damage caused due to Alzheimer’s disease. Eating high flavanol cocoa for a few days can improved blood flow to essential regions of the brain, thus improving the cognitive function.
Dark Chocolate Lowers Bad Cholesterol
You might have heard about LDL (low-density lipoproteins) or “bad cholesterol.” When LDL is oxidized, they become radicalized and cause damage to some vital tissues in your body, including the lining of the arteries in your heart.
Dark Chocolate nutrition contains cocoa, as mentioned before, and cocoa has strong antioxidant properties which make their way into the bloodstream and protect lipoproteins from being oxidized. It results in lower blood pressure.
Dark Chocolate Prevents You from Being Prone to Heart Disease
Since dark Chocolate protects lipoproteins from being oxidized, it lowers Cholesterol and high blood pressure, which has a direct link to cardiovascular disease. Cholesterol gets accumulated as plaque in arteries resulting in heart conditions.
Eating dark Chocolate thrice a week reduced the risk of heart disease by 32%. Eating it more than five times a week, lowered the risk of having a heart attack by 57%. Higher levels of chocolate consumption can also have a rescued risk of cardiometabolic disorders(3).
Dark Chocolate May Protect Your Skin from the Sun
Dark Chocolate contains certain bioactive compounds which are beneficial to your skin. The flavonols found in cocoa improve blood flow to the surface, increase its density, keep it hydrated, and protect it from the sun.
Ultraviolet rays from the sun cause redness in the skin within twenty-four hours of exposure. Dark Chocolate increases the Minimal Erythemal Dose, that is the minimum amount of sunlight required to cause redness. It means your skin can take more sunshine.
Dark Chocolate Reduces the Risk Factors for Stroke
A large study conducted in Canada, involving 44,489 people, showed that those who consume one serving of dark Chocolate are 22% less likely to have a stroke. If the amount of dark Chocolate consumed every day is two ounces, then the risk of having a stroke is reduced by 46%.
A study in 2015 had 25,000 participants taking 100 g of dark Chocolate per day. The health of the participants in the long term was monitored and tracked. The study showed that both men and women involved in the study were less likely to suffer from stroke and also heart disease(4).
Dark Chocolate May Improve Athletic Performance
The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition published findings of dark Chocolate used in physical training. Dark Chocolate containing flavonols called epicatechins increase the availability of oxygen. They do so by inducing the release of nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels carrying oxygen. Athletes who had eaten dark Chocolate used less oxygen for the same amount of physical activity.
Dark Chocolate Is Highly Nutritious
Premium quality dark Chocolate containing high levels of cocoa are rich in many nutrients. It is rich in nutrients such as fiber. It also has many minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese. Eating dark Chocolate nearly fulfills the required daily intake of some of these minerals. It also contains other minerals like potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium in abundance.
Dark Chocolate Lowers Blood Pressure and Improves Blood Flow
Dark Chocolate contains flavanols, which can induce the endothelium of the arteries to produce nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide signals the arteries to relax. It lowers resistance to blood flow and somewhat decreases blood pressure.
Well, you must be thinking dark chocolate indulgence is not bad after all. With so many health benefits associated with it like improved blood flow, lower Cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and better cognitive function, you are right in thinking so.
You should note that not all the Chocolate available in the market is right for you. Dark Chocolate containing 70% or more of cocoa content is recommended for these health benefits to materialize. Also, the saying ‘anything excess is bad’ is so apt for Dark Chocolate. A bar of dark Chocolate or a hot cup of sugarless cocoa is perfectly healthy. So, what are you waiting for? We have given you enough reasons to no longer to feel guilty about indulging in Dark Chocolate.