Top 10 Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate
The Health benefits of dark chocolate are much more that its good taste and in this article, we will be taking a look at the advantages that you must know about chocolate.
Made from the seed of the cacao tree, Dark chocolate is rich in minerals, such as iron, magnesium, and zinc.
The cocoa in dark chocolate also contains antioxidants called flavonoids, which may provide several health benefits.
Below are ten health benefits of dark chocolate you must know as you continue to consume it.
Top 10 Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate
One important health benefits of dark chocolate that we all enjoy is its nutrition. If you buy quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, then it’s quite nutritious.
It contains a decent amount of soluble fiber and is loaded with minerals. A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70–85% cocoa contains.
2. Great Source Of Antioxidants
Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols and catechins, among others.
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.
3. Helps Lower Risk Of High Blood Pressure
The bioactive compounds in cocoa may improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure.
Flavanols found in dark chocolate can stimulate the endothelium, the lining of arteries, to produce nitric oxide.
One of the functions of NO is to send signals to the arteries to relax, which lowers the resistance to blood flow and therefore reduces blood pressure.
Many controlled studies show that cocoa and dark chocolate can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, though the effects are usually mild.
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4. Dark Chocolate Helps Reduce Heart Disease Risk
The health benefits of dark chocolate include its ability to help reduce heart disease risk.
This is made possible through the compounds in dark chocolate which seem to be highly protective against the oxidation of LDL.
In the long term, this should cause much less cholesterol to lodge in the arteries, resulting in a lower risk of heart disease.
In fact, several long-term observational studies show a fairly drastic improvement.
5. Protect The Skin From The Sun
The bioactive compounds in dark chocolate may also be great for your skin.
The flavanols 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.
6. Dark Chocolate Helps Improve Brain Function
As earlier stated that the health benefits of dark chocolate are numerous and this includes its ability to help improve brain functions.
One study of healthy volunteers showed that eating high flavanol cocoa for 5 days improved blood flow to the brain.
Cocoa may also significantly improve cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. It may improve verbal fluency and several risk factors for disease, as well.
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7. Helps Reduce Bad Cholesterol
Dark chocolate also contains certain compounds, such as polyphenols and theobromine, that may lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the body.
This tends to increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
Doctors often refer to LDL cholesterol as “bad cholesterol” and HDL cholesterol as “good cholesterol.”
8. Anti-inflammatory effects
Inflammation is part of the body’s natural immune response to germs and other harmful substances.
However, chronic inflammation can damage cells and tissues and may increase the risk of some health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and certain types of cancer.
Eating dark chocolate can help prevent these ailments.
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9. Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance occurs when the body’s cells stop responding to the hormone insulin.
This can cause abnormally high levels of blood glucose, which can lead to prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Studies have shown that eating dark chocolate each day may help lower fasting glucose levels and reduce insulin resistance.
10. Aids Digestion
Eating dark chocolate may benefit the gut microbiome, which can aid digestion.
Research have shown that eating dark chocolate was associated with increases in the diversity of the gut microbiome.
Summary: Top 10 Health Benefits Of Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is a rich source of antioxidants and minerals, and it generally contains less sugar than milk chocolate. Despite the benefits, it is advisable to eat moderately as it is high in fat and calories.