If you’ve ever wanted to eat chocolate every day, you now have a reason — or eight. According to scientific research, black chocolate – sorry, milk and white chocolate don’t qualify — is high in antioxidants and minerals, making it a superfood favourite. Dark chocolate includes flavonoids, which are plant molecules that function as antioxidants and may have a role in cancer prevention, heart health, and weight reduction, according to a December 2016 paper published in the Journal of Nutritional Science. The cacao plant, from which chocolate is derived, also includes a chemical called theobromine, which, according to Toby Amidor, RD, a cookbook author and Food Network nutrition expert, can help decrease inflammation and perhaps decrease blood pressure. Choose a bar with 70% cacao or above; bars with lesser percentages of cacao contain more added sugar and harmful fats. Even while excellent dark chocolate is preferable to milk chocolate, it is still chocolate, which means it is heavy in calories and saturated fat. Amidor advises consuming no more than 1 ounce of dark chocolate every day to avoid weight gain.
Dark Chocolate Supplies
Dark chocolate is not a guilty pleasure; in fact, it has several health advantages. Real dark chocolate, as opposed to manufactured and sweetened milk chocolate, has several health advantages. Some nutrients are lost during the production of chocolate for the general market. Check to see if the chocolate you buy is healthful. Examine the label: Chocolate with a cocoa content of 60% or above is abundant in nutrients and antioxidants. It is sometimes referred to be bittersweet since it has very little sweetness. To obtain all of the benefits from chocolate, simply use unsweetened cocoa nibs.
Darks chocolate is very nutritious. Aside from antioxidants, dark chocolate is high in nutritional minerals and vitamins. Half a cup of pure cocoa (quite a little, mind you) contains the following nutrients:
● Riboflavin, 6 per cent of your daily value
● Niacin, 4 per cent of your daily value
● Calcium, 5 per cent of your daily value
● Iron, 33 per cent of your daily value
● Magnesium, 53 per cent of your daily value
● Phosphorous, 30 per cent of your daily value
● Zinc, 40 per cent of your daily value
● Copper, 80 per cent of your daily value
● Manganese, 83 per cent of your daily value
● Omega-6 fatty acids—378mg
● Caffeine, 99 mg
● Theobromine, 880 mg
Read the benefits of dark chocolate below.
1. Prevents Depression
Theobromine is one of the components present in dark chocolate. Caffeine, theobromine’s sister molecule, is structurally quite similar. When ingested in excessive quantities, theobromine can produce a drop in blood pressure, excitability, and energy. This enthusiasm is often followed by a slump, prompting some opponents to label chocolate as a potentially addictive stimulant. Anandamide is another molecule present in chocolate. Anandamide has a similar structure to THC but is far less potent. Despite this, anandamide can still deliver a mood and energy boost while avoiding the addiction and cardiovascular harm associated with other stimulants.
2. Aids against diabetes
Endothelial function and insulin resistance have both been shown to be improved by chocolate. The endothelium is critical in maintaining arterial health, and insulin resistance is the most routinely evaluated statistic to predict the development of future disorders such as diabetes. Cocoa and its flavonoids contribute to the beneficial modulation of these systems. If you want to avoid diabetes, you should consume low-sugar, dark chocolate.
3. Can prevent cardiovascular diseases
For quite some time, small-scale research has revealed that regular use of cocoa can help combat cardiovascular disease. More recent research on cocoa’s cardiovascular benefits, conducted in 2006, confirmed this in a larger research group of 470 men, all of whom were examined while taking varied daily amounts of cocoa. The study concluded that cocoa does reduce the likelihood and severity of cardiovascular disease. These observational studies do not indicate that chocolate is the source of these effects. However, consistent and repeated favourable outcomes in cocoa research show that chocolate has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system.
4. Can prevent stroke
The study contrasted persons who ingested chocolate on a regular basis to those who refrained completely. It was carried out on a massive scale, involving 20,951 people. They evaluated people’s chocolate intake at the start of the trial and followed their cardiovascular statistics for decades. The difficulty with such research is that the findings do not definitely connect chocolate to a decreased risk of stroke. Perhaps those who eat a lot of chocolate have comparable tendencies that help them avoid strokes. This study also discovered correlations between people who ate more chocolate and having overall better behaviours than the other research group.
5. Can lower blood pressure
Another advantage of chocolate’s incredible medicinal profile is that it can lower your blood pressure. Chocolate can be a less expensive and more enjoyable way to lower blood pressure than medication. Those who already had hypertension reaped the greatest benefits. This shows that when blood pressure is high, the flavonols responsible are more potent. While fruits, vegetables, and tea are all known antioxidant sources, studies show that the cocoa bean is more potent, with one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients in the world.
6. Can help during pregnancy
Chocolate has been found in recent research to boost foetal development. Some moms may be at risk for preeclampsia, which occurs when the fetus’s blood supply is cut off or limited. This happens as a result of increased blood pressure, which is normal during pregnancy. According to one study, eating chocolate daily can minimise the risk of preeclampsia by reducing blood pressure. It is unknown which chocolate chemicals are responsible for this action. The participants in the research were divided into two groups: those who consumed high-flavonol chocolate and those who ingested low-flavonol chocolate. Blood flow to the foetus improved significantly in both cases. This shows that the advantages of chocolate may extend beyond its flavonol concentration.
7. Improves brain function
The cognitive advantages of chocolate eating are investigated in this study. High-quality chocolate consumption increased cognitive processing, visual-spatial awareness, abstract reasoning, scanning, working memory, and Global Composite scores. The study compared data from the beginning of the study using cross-sectional research. This does not necessarily imply that chocolate makes individuals smarter; rather, clever individuals may eat chocolate. Regardless, the study concluded that chocolate consumption boosted all categories of intelligence previously tested, as well as spoken word memory.
8. Huge source of antioxidants
A variety of powerful antioxidants may be found in high concentrations in dark chocolate. The Relative Antioxidant Capacity Index (RACI) was derived from separating free radicals and antioxidants derived from chocolate. Cancer begins with free radicals, and antioxidants can help kill free radicals before they spread. The two opposing extracts were effectively left to fight each other in vivo. According to the data, chocolate’s antioxidants are particularly effective in lowering free radicals. While they may function differently in the body, relevant research indicates that chocolate helps combat free radicals in vitro.
9. Can protect your skin from the sun
Dark chocolate has been shown to protect against UV rays, the light released by the sun. The most efficient approach to get this effect would be to consume whole cocoa beans. These are frequently seen at health food stores. If you can’t get raw cocoa, good dark chocolate will suffice. The flavonols in 85 per cent dark chocolate are still present in sufficient quantities to have an impact. One research determined the minimum erythema dose, which indicates how much exposure is required to cause skin damage. A high MED is advantageous since it indicates that you must be exposed to more UV radiation to be harmed.
10. Promotes Red Blood Cells Distribution
Over the last few decades, evidence has accumulated indicating frequent eating of dark chocolate can enhance the breadth of red blood cell dispersion. RDW is a solid method of measuring or forecasting cardiovascular disease. Using RDW as a metric, frequent consumption of chocolate rich in flavonols and polyphenols boosts RDW sufficiently enough to lower the risk of a wide range of cardiovascular illnesses. Chocolate’s high iron concentration contributes to its ability to increase RDW.
11. Boosts your immune system
Dark chocolate’s high antioxidant content, as well as some of the other nutrition processes, making it a pleasure for your immune system. Cocoa can alter your immune system’s inflammatory response. Inflammation is the body’s reaction to microorganisms, chemicals, wounds, or illnesses. Flavonoids are known to have anti-inflammatory qualities, and chocolate is high in them. Cocoa may have an anti-inflammatory impact on specific immune-producing cells. Because antibodies help your body fight bacteria and disease, eating chocolate daily may one day spare you from contracting malaria.
12. Can Improve LDL Cholesterol and Raise HDL Cholesterol
Atherogenesis is a degenerative disease of the arteries induced by the oxidation of low-quality lipids. Chocolate has been demonstrated to inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which is one of the leading causes of atherosclerosis. As a result, when LDL cholesterol is oxidised, the LDL becomes reactive. This implies it can harm your organs and arteries, eventually leading to cancer. It also helps to increase the total quantity of HDL cholesterol, which is the beneficial sort. Is there a cure for reactive LDL? Antioxidants, please! Chocolate has a plethora of antioxidants. Many of these antioxidants are quickly absorbed by the blood and can fight free radicals before they cause any harm.
So, these were the benefits of consuming dark chocolate. As you might have heard people constantly tell you to not eat chocolates, let us not rule that out completely. Although dark chocolate has its benefits, like everything else, it must be consumed in a moderate amount. Now that you have understood how dark chocolate can be good for you, go grab a bar and enjoy guilt-free.