Chocolate is one of those things that could be written about a million times and it never gets old. Especially when it’s a positive article about how good chocolate is for you. Dark chocolate in particular, is loaded with great nutrients. Studies show that organic dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate and other types of dark chocolate can actually improve health while lowering the risk of heart disease. Here are a few other great things about dark chocolate.
- Nutrients in Chocolate
Dark chocolate has a high cocoa content and has a good amount of fiber and minerals. Chocolate contains the following nutrients in each 100 gram bar:
- 11 grams of fiber.
- 67% of the RDA for Iron.
- 58% of the RDA for Magnesium.
- 89% of the RDA for Copper.
- 98% of the RDA for Manganese.
Dark chocolate is packed full of organic antioxidants that are very good for you such as polychenols, flavanols, catechins and more. Dark chocolate actually contains more antioxidants than most other berries and even other foods.
Some of the antioxidants like flavanols can stimulate the artery linings which causes them to relax which in turn lowers blood pressure and can improve blood flow.
- Higher HDL and Lower LDL
HDL is the ‘good’ cholesterol that you want and LDL is ‘bad’ cholesterol. Research showed that cocoa powder actually hired HDL and lowered LDL in humans. This again has to do with the antioxidants that are present and get in to the bloodstream. This also means a reduction in insulin which can cause heart disease and diabetes.
- Cardiovascular Benefits
Because of the lowered amount of cholesterol that is allowed to get stuck in the arteries, there can be a lowered risk of heart disease in the long run. Several studies show a drastic drop in heart disease risk in patients that ate dark chocolate. Over a 15 year period, the risk of death by cardiovascular issues was reduced by 50 percent.
- Sun Protection
This may be a new one to you but there are bioactive compounds in dark chocolate that could be really good for your skin. Not only can it protect your skin from sun damage but the improved blood flow to the skin increase hydration and density.
- Improved Brain Function
A recent study showed the 5 consecutive days of dark chocolate consumption made a noticeable increase of blood flow to the brain. This improves cognitive function as well as verbal fluency and some disease risks. Caffeine and theobromine are also in dark chocolate and these substances can issue a short burst of improved brain function as well, although temporary.
It also contains a lot of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and also selenium.
Now, keep in mind that you probably should not ingest 100 grams of chocolate a day no matter how good the nutrients are, there’s also a lot of sugar and calories so dark chocolate should of course be consumed in small amounts.
Basically, there is a lot of evidence showing how great cocoa and dark chocolate can be for you. This is not to say that you should live off of chocolate from now on but it’s definitely a great reason to indulge a little more often. Keep in mind, however, that this is not taking about the bars that lure you in at the check out counter of your local grocery store. The chocolate that this article is referencing is the best dark chocolate: the good quality, organic dark chocolate that is made with at least 70% cocoa. If you can find that on the market then that is what you should be collecting and consuming. You may find it bitter and not as sweet as what you are used to but you can definitely acquire a taste for it if you keep trying it. It’s so much better for you than regular chocolate and has enough sugar to satisfy any sugar craving that you might have. However, it still does contain sugar and with that comes a lot of calories so be careful about how much you eat and don’t overdo it. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that the darker the chocolate is, the less sugar it contains and the better for you it will be.