I’m a big big fan of dark chocolate and I love eating it, these benefits made me go crazy in my love for dark chocolate so I thought why not share them with you.
Dark chocolate is filled with nutrients that can affect your health in a good way.
Made from the seed of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet.
Studies show that dark chocolate (without any preservatives or artificial additives) can improve your health and lower the risk of heart disease.
Quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, then it is actually quite nutritious. It contains appropritate amount of soluble fiber and is rich in minerals.
A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70–85% cocoa contains:
- 11 grams of fiber
- 67% of the RDI for iron
- 58% of the RDI for magnesium
- 89% of the RDI for copper
- 98% of the RDI for manganese
- It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium
No questions, 100 grams (3.5 ounces) is a large amount and must not be consumed daily. In addition to various nutrients it also has 600 calories and moderate amounts of sugar.
Thus, dark chocolate is best consumed in moderation.
The fatty acid profile of cocoa and dark chocolate is also excellent. The fats are mostly saturated and monounsaturated, with small amounts of polyunsaturated fat.
It also contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine, but is unlikely to keep you awake at night as the amount of caffeine is very small compared to coffee.
Dark chocolate is enriched with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include (to mention a few):
- flavanols and
- catechins, etc
One study showed that cocoa and dark chocolate had more antioxidant activity, polyphenols and flavanols than any other fruits tested, which included blueberries and acai berries.
Blood Pressure Control:
The bioactive compounds in cocoa help improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small yet significant decrease in blood pressure.
Lowers LDL and raises HDL:
Dark chocolate improves several important risk factors for disease. It lowers the susceptibility of LDL to oxidative damage while increasing HDL and improving insulin sensitivity.
Reduces Heart Diseases Risk:
The compounds in dark chocolate appear to be highly protective against the oxidation of LDL. If consumed continuously , this should cause much less cholesterol to lodge in the arteries, resulting in a lower risk of heart disease.
In a study of 470 elderly men, cocoa was found to reduce the risk of death from heart disease by a whopping 50% over a 15 year period.
However, since the biological process is known (lower blood pressure and oxidized LDL), it is plausible that regularly eating dark chocolate may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Improved Brain Functioning:
Cocoa may also significantly improve cognitive function in elderly people with mental impairment. It may improve verbal fluency and several risk factors for disease, as well
Additionally, cocoa contains stimulant substances like caffeine and theobromine, which may be a key reason why it can improve brain function in the short term.
And Now the most interesting benefit, skin glow with cocoa.
The flavonols can protect against sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin and increase skin density and hydration.
The minimal erythemal dose (MED) is the minimum amount of UVB rays required to cause redness in the skin 24 hours after exposure.
In one study of 30 people, the MED more than doubled after consuming dark chocolate high in flavanols for 12 weeks.
Fetal growth and development
Eating 30 g (about one ounce) of chocolate every day during pregnancy might benefit fetal growth and development, according to a study presented at the 2016 Pregnancy Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in Atlanta, GA.
But every single thing has some bad points too, as it’s said excess of anything is dangerous.
Here are a few risks along with precautions for us.
Risks and precautions
Chocolate may have health benefits, but it can have some negative effects, too.
Chocolate that is high in sugar can lead to tooth decay and weight gain.
Some studies suggest that chocolate consumption is linked to lower body mass index (BMI) and central body fat. However, chocolate can have a high calorie count due to its sugar and fat content. Anyone who is trying to slim down or maintain their weight should limit their chocolate consumption and check the label of their favorite product.
The high sugar content of most chocolate can also be a cause of tooth decay.
Some people may experience an increase in migraines when eating chocolate regularly due to cocoa’s tyramine, histamine, and phenylalanine content. However, research is mixed.
There is some evidence that chocolate might cause poor bone structure and osteoporosis. The results of one study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that older women who consumed chocolate every day had lower bone density and strength.
Some cocoa powders, chocolate bars, and cacao nibs may contain high levels of cadmium and lead, which are toxic to the kidneys, bones, and other body tissues.
In 2017, Consumer Lab tested 43 chocolate products and found that nearly all cocoa powders contained more than 0.3 mcg cadmium per serving, the maximum amount recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Happy eating chocolate with all the good precautions 🙂
Article originally written on www.healthline.com