9 Amazing Benefits of Eating Dark Chocolate4 minute
By Likita Gowda
Have you ever wished you could eat chocolate everyday guilt-free? Then this article will give you all the right reasons to do so. Except the only catch is in eating the right kind of chocolate & in moderation of course. This type of chocolate that you can eat on an everyday basis is a superfood in its own right & the star of this article. It’s none other than Dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate with a minimum of 70 percent cacao can be super good for you. It provides a host of health benefits that can improve your overall well-being.
Curious to know what these perks are? Then read on.
1. It lowers cholesterol & is good for your heart
Yes, you read that right. All the amazing benefits of dark chocolate come from its key component: flavonoids. These are extremely good for your heart health & can reduce the risk of heart diseases. These flavonoids help boost the good cholesterol or HDL in your system which in turn help absorb the bad cholesterol or LDL, thereby lowering the cholesterol level in your body and protecting you against heart diseases. Sweet, right?
2. It lowers high blood pressure
The flavonoids in dark chocolate have blood thinning properties and they also help relax your blood vessels which in turn can help lower your blood pressure. The magnesium content in dark chocolate is also good for lowering BP. Plus dark chocolate can help elevate the levels of nitric oxide in your body which aids in vasodilation & better blood circulation thereby reducing your blood pressure.
3. It can reduce the risk of strokes
We all know that high blood pressure can increase the risk of strokes. Since dark chocolate can help reduce blood pressure and also relax the blood vessels, it may considerably reduce the risk of strokes.
4. It can improve brain function
Consuming dark chocolate can help increase the blood flow to your brain. This in turn ensures that your brain gets more oxygen and also the toxins get removed from the brain faster. This can make you more alert, can improve memory and also protect your brain from neurodegenerative diseases like Alziehmer’s and Parkinson’s.
5. It can lower the risk of developing diabetes
High blood sugar levels are caused by insulin resistance. And oxidative stress is one of the primary causes of insulin resistance. The flavonoids in dark chocolate reduce oxidative stress thereby improving insulin sensitivity and reducing the risk of developing diabetes.
6. Boosts mood
The fatty acids in dark chocolate namely stearic acid and palmitic acids along with the presence of the wonderful flavonoids can significantly make you feel happier by increasing the neural activity in areas of the brain linked to pleasure & reward. So anytime you are feeling stressed, eat a little cube of dark chocolate and watch your mood improve.
7. May help prevent cancer
Research has shown that eating dark chocolate may help prevent the risk of various types of cancers. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of dark chocolate are what help protect our cells from damage from free radicals and reduce inflammation thereby helping in protecting us against cancer.
8. Can aid in weight loss & improve gut health
Who knew chocolate could help with weight loss? But here we are, being as pleasantly surprised as you with the magical qualities of dark chocolate. The way dark chocolate works for aiding in weight loss is that it helps you curb your cravings & control your appetite. Eating a little bit of dark chocolate sends signals to the satiety centre in your brain making you feel full. Studies have also shown that dark chocolate acts like a prebiotic which boosts the growth of good microbes in your gut. These beneficial bacteria in your gut help your body absorb nutrients better & improve metabolism. And an improved metabolism aids in burning fat faster.
9. It is beneficial for your skin
Your skin can benefit from the consumption of dark chocolate in more ways than one. The antioxidants in dark chocolate can protect your skin against the damaging effects of UV rays. If that’s not enough, eating dark chocolate can also make your skin glow and look healthy by improving blood flow to your skin. Dark chocolate is also known to support the production of collagen and prevent its breakdown thereby reducing wrinkles and making you look younger!
We are sure that all these points will encourage you to incorporate small amounts of dark chocolate in your diets. Just make sure that the quality of dark chocolate is good - it shouldn’t be highly processed and should have at least 70 percent cacao content. Opt for ones which are not alkali-processed and do not have trans fat.
Do share your story in the comments below if you already consume dark chocolate regularly and have experienced some positive changes in your health.