Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate, when consumed in moderation, has various health benefits. It contains antioxidants and minerals that may protect you from heart disease. However, it is rich in sugar and calories too. Dark chocolate is made from the cacao tree's seed and is considered one of the best sources of antioxidants. Consuming dark chocolate can lower the risk of heart disease and improve overall health.

10/8/20232 min lire

Here are seven scientifically supported health benefits of eating dark chocolate:

1. Nutritious: Dark chocolate with higher cocoa content is nutritious and rich in soluble fiber and minerals. A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70–85% cocoa contains fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. However, it also has 600 calories and moderate amounts of sugar. Thus, it's best to consume it in moderation.

2. Powerful Antioxidants: Dark chocolate is extremely rich in antioxidants, as it has a high ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) value. This makes it way more effective than most other foods in protecting against free radicals.

3. Improved Blood Flow and Lowered Blood Pressure: The flavonoids in dark chocolate can improve blood flow by stimulating the endothelium, which is the lining of the arteries, to produce nitric oxide. This, in turn, lowers the resistance of blood flow and reduces blood pressure in a mild way.

4. Raises Good Cholesterol and Protects against Bad: Dark chocolate, when consumed, decreases levels of total cholesterol, "bad" LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. LDL cholesterol is prone to oxidize and react with free radicals in the body and is thus extremely harmful. Dark chocolate contains powerful antioxidants that, when entering the bloodstream, protect the lipoproteins from oxidative damage. It even improves insulin sensitivity.

5. Reduces Heart Disease Risks: The compounds in dark chocolate protect against the oxidation of LDL in the long run, which causes less cholesterol buildup in the arteries and reduces the risk of heart disease. Consuming chocolate three times a week can lower heart disease risk by 9%, and eating 45 grams of chocolate a week can lower cardiovascular disease risk by 11%.

6. Protects Your Skin from Sun Damage: The bioactive compounds in dark chocolate can protect your skin against sun damage by improving blood flow to the skin, increasing skin density and hydration, and doubling the minimal erythemal doses (the minimum amount of UVB rays required to cause skin redness) when consumed for twelve weeks.

7. Improves Brain Function: Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain in young adults and improves attention, verbal learning, and memory. It maintains cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment and can reduce the chance of progressing to dementia.

In conclusion, dark chocolate is an incredible food that, when consumed in moderation, can provide numerous health benefits, especially in protecting against heart disease. Choose dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content, and savor it after dinner, or have a cup of hot cocoa with no cream or sugar to enjoy its benefits without the added calories.

chocolate bars on white table
chocolate bars on white table